2021 has been another ‘interesting’ year, with more highs and lows. But before setting our sights on any goals for 2022, now is the perfect time to look back and reflect on the past year, letting go of any stresses or worries beyond our control for the future.
In an attempt to leave 2021 on a high, here’s our 2021 review and a look back at a few of Balance: Wealth Planning’s best bits. We’d encourage you to think back on your highlight reel, too, as although it may not feel like much has happened in 2021, it may well just surprise you.
- A message from Rebecca
It feels like a lifetime ago, but in January of last year, we headed into lockdown 3.0 and Rebecca recorded this message in response to that news. And with 2022 possibly looking to start in a similar fashion, unfortunately, we’ve been there and got the t-shirt! Hopefully, we can make the best of it.
- Our chosen charity announcement
Our clients voted The Trussell Trust as our chosen charity for 2021. The Trussell Trust supports a nationwide network of food banks and people locked in poverty. Their mission is to end the need for food banks in the UK. And through different fundraising activities and a donation for every recommendation we receive from clients, we raised £900 in monetary donations and just over £300 in food donations over the course of 2021!
- Caroline joined the team
In January, we welcomed Caroline Keegan to the Balance family. Caroline is a brilliant financial planner with over 30 years of experience and a plethora of qualifications. If you’re not already acquainted, you can get to know her a little better here.
- Personal Finance Society’s Financial Vulnerability Taskforce
At the start of the year, we joined the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce to show our commitment to making advice easier to understand and placing your interests above all else. You can read more on our commitments here.
We kickstarted off our series of webinars for the year, starting with our always popular retirement webinar hosted by our life planning guru and financial planner, Tina Winter.
If you missed this or any of our other webinars – covering topics such as ethical investing, inheritance planning, redundancy and selling a business – watch them online.
- Random acts of kindness
On the 17th of February, it was random acts of kindness day, and some of our lovely team decided to donate to The Trussell Trust, raising another £60 towards our total.
We’re big believers in the pay it forward movement too, and this is just one of the ways we’ve tried to make a positive influence on the world, one small but kind step at a time.
- Two more new team members!
In March, we welcomed two more lovely ladies to the team: Compliance Manager Carolyn Talkes-Nicholls and Nidhi Naik, Paraplanner.
- The Trussell Trust’s Race Against Hunger
Some of the team took part in the Trussell Trust’s Race Against Hunger on 27th March. We were delighted to raise £180. You can see a little throwback of us all in action below. Rebecca and her family even won the most creative route map with the whiplash-worthy flower formation they ran.
- Rebecca was named a top-rated adviser
Our MD, Rebecca Aldridge, made VouchedFor’s 2021 Top Rated Financial Adviser Guide (as published in The Times) for the third year running. And we couldn’t be more proud.
- Michelle joined the team
At the start of the month, the lovely Michelle Bacon joined the Balance family as a Senior Administrator.
- An office revamp
Although we were still working from home, the office had a bit of a revamp in readiness to welcome our wonderful clients and team back. Here are a few before and after photos.
- More office space = another friendly face
Just as we created more space, we welcomed another member to the team, financial planner Lindy Kroese. Lindy joined us with over ten years of experience in financial planning in the UK and South Africa.
- 2021 Money Age Awards
In July, we were very happy to announce that we’d been shortlisted in the 2021 MoneyAge Awards for Small to Medium Financial Adviser Firm of the Year.
- 10 hidden gems in Nottingham and Derby
With the summer holidays just around the corner and most of the UK’s covid restrictions about to be reduced on 19th July, we shared our second instalment of the hidden gems in Nottingham and Derby.
- Women in Financial Advice Awards
Our MD, Rebecca Aldridge, was shortlisted for two Women in Financial Advice Awards for Retirement Planning and Investment Advice.
Although we may be biased, we think Rebecca is amazing without the accolade, but it’s lovely to receive industry recognition.
- Moving on up
Our Paraplanning Manager, Dani Nicholls, passed her final exam to get Chartered Financial Planner status! So that makes four members of our team Chartered now, with more on the way to becoming it too!
- Yet another new team member
As our office reopened and we welcomed old faces back in, we couldn’t resist welcoming another new friendly face to the team. Amy Wyatt-Bennett joined our team as a Paraplanner.
- A team day out
After 18 months of working from home, the growing Balance family enjoyed a great team-building day out in the Peak District, which involved a treasure hunt and lots of Bakewell Tart!
This outing was actually the first time some of the team had met in real life, as they had joined during the pandemic. It was so great to be together again finally, and we thoroughly enjoyed getting out in the fresh air together.
- Highly commended
We were over the moon to see our MD and financial planner, Rebecca Aldridge, getting a Highly Commended in the Woman of the Year category for Retirement Planning when the winners of the Women in Financial Advice Awards were announced.
- Financial Planning Week
We supported Financial Planning Week for another year at the beginning of October. We offered free one-hour consultations with our professional financial advisers, and one of our financial planners, Lindy Kroese, hosted her first webinar for the company, introducing financial planning. You can watch it online here.
- Food collection for The Trussell Trust
Another way of marking being back in the office again was starting a food collection for the Trussell Trust throughout September and October. The picture below shows the abundance of goods we donated thanks to our clients and teams generosity. As promised, Balance matched these donations, so in total, we donated over £200 worth of food.
- New Model Adviser Top 100
Balance: Wealth Planning was named one of the New Model Adviser® Top 100 Financial Planning firms in the UK for the fourth consecutive year.
- 12 days of quizmas
Back by popular demand, we put together 12 different challenges and brain teasers for our ‘12 days of Quizmas’.
And since we were able to meet up in person this time around, we hosted a charity quiz on 1st December as our first challenge of sorts. Thanks to the kind donations towards the quiz and charity raffle, we managed to raise just over £200!
And some of our keen quizzers who entered the rest of the 11 days of quizmas online, kindly chose a donation as their prize, rather than the fizz or chocolates on offer. Through this, we managed to raise a further £70.
- Our Christmas good deed
Instead of sending Christmas cards, we’ve supported our chosen charity, The Trussell Trust, in a slightly different way this year… play the video below to see what we’ve been up to:
One thing that has kept us united as a team throughout 2021 is the support we’ve given to The Trussell Trust. And none more so than creating this video and making a final donation for the year. We’ve put the money we would have spent on cards towards the tins you see in this video, which are just a sleigh ride away from being donated to our local food bank.
On a final note…
But, before we fly off to the food bank, here’s a quick note about our Christmas and New Year plans. The Balance team have a handful of the team available between 29th – 31st December. We will be closed on 3rd January and return in the new year on 4th January 2022. If you need anything urgently, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We wish you good health and continued happiness going into 2022. May it bring you lots of great memories.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss organising your finances in the new year, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and speak to one of our independent financial planners.