5 minutes with…Kelvin Riches

What makes Carpenter Box Financial Advisers (CBFA) stand out from the rest is our people and their commitment to having great relationships with their clients, and with their colleagues.

In our ‘Five minutes with…’ series we meet some of the great team at Carpenter Box Financial Advisers. We posed various sets of questions to people across our firm to provide a glimpse into their lives and perspectives.

This week, it’s the turn of Chartered Financial Planner, Kelvin Riches!

Tell us about yourself

I am Kelvin Riches, a Chartered Financial Planner for Carpenter Box Financial Advisers. I was born in North West London, near Wembley, so if I were a football supporter, my local team would have been England. I have lived in Sussex & Surrey since I was five and my immediate family all live in Worthing.

If you were not a Financial Adviser what would you have liked to be and why?

When I left college, my parents told me I would start paying rent when I got a full time job. Ever one for a loophole, I secured 5 part-time jobs, working in a Nightclub, Halfords, a car auctions, the local paper shop and fitting car stereos over the course of my working week. Although the plan didn’t require me to pay my parents rent, it did create a 21-hour working day every Thursday.

When I became a bit more focussed on my career, I spent around 15 years working in Financial Services for Life-Companies (Aviva & Just Retirement), before deciding I wanted to be an adviser. The transition saw me chase down a lot of exams. I have been both a paraplanner and adviser since deciding on this as a career and have worked at Carpenter Box since 2017.

If I weren’t an adviser, I would have liked to have been a Civil Engineer and designed/built bridges. As my department colleagues will attest, I love a project and am addicted to problem solving. I do have a plan to have a little plot of land with a stream running through it when I retire so I can make miniature versions of the bridges I would have imagined if I were an engineer.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in financial advice?

There is no set path through financial advice as a career, many in our industry have worked in support or paraplanning roles and though some of us then choose to become advisers, many prefer not to. There are important similarities and differences between the roles, all become technical as you learn more about the industry and all require you to challenge conventions and act in a client’s interests.

Support roles require very high levels of organisation and accuracy, paraplanning requires deeper writing and analytical skills and advising involves lots of questioning and presenting. Advisers must be qualified to a specific standard and given the technical nature of the role, most paraplanners are similarly qualified. It is definitely possible to pick up some of these as you go in a support role. 

What is the best and worst part of being a Financial Adviser?

The best thing about my role is solving problems in a clients life. We have had clients who have come in to meet us with no idea what shape their finances are in and following our advice, have been able to retire early, buy a house, or go on extra holidays each year. We have also had clients we have just offered reassurance and changed very little. It surprises clients at times where advice may include spending more.

Financial Advice is a very heavily regulated industry and a lot of the regulation is guidance rather than rules, which leaves it open to interpretation. There are times that the best thing for the client appears to clash with the regulator’s views. This can frustrate a desire to deliver the best possible client outcomes.

What are your plans for the future?

I have little to prove to myself academically anymore, so my plans are to support as many quality client outcomes as I can for the next 20-30 years and get some bridge designs committed to paper.

Find out more about ways in which we can help you by getting in touch with our team on 01903 534587.