Humans of Clevedon – Richard Higgs

Richard approached me about inclusion on the website very recently and having spent some time talking to him, I was very happy to do so. Richard’s family moved to Clevedon around twenty-nine years ago when he was just ten years old. After completing his education at Clevedon Comprehensive School, Richard went on to forge a successful career in helping individuals, families and businesses achieve their financial and lifestyle goals. This recently culminated in Richard achieving one of his personal goals and setting up his own business.

Although Richard now lives in Bristol with his partner Sophie who is a Critical Care Nurse at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, he still has very strong family ties in Clevedon, with his mother, Deb currently sharing the tenancy at the Old Inn, and his grandparents (see photo below) having moved here around three years ago, living near the Pier.

Richard has very fond memories of living in Clevedon and as you can imagine, given his family connections, spends considerable time here. When I asked him had he thought of moving back, he explained that one day he was sure that he would indeed return but at the moment it just wasn’t possible. However, in the meantime, he has plans to locate his office in Clevedon within his business objectives.

“With close family and friends here, I of course spend a lot of time in Clevedon, and have many times thought about moving back, however with Sophie  working at the hospital on such variable hours, the fairest choice at this time was south Bristol”.

“I have seen Clevedon evolve over almost 30 years, but beneath the visual differences, Clevedon’s community spirit still resonates clearly and I will always want to be a part of it”

On the subject of business, I was interested to find out a bit more about what Richard does and what it is that he loves so much about it which he clearly does.

He explained how he started his career in finance at BUPA, almost by accident after his engineering apprenticeship sponsor had to close its doors. He went on to outline how whilst at BUPA, he quickly progressed into a customer relations role which focused on listening to customer concerns and helping resolve matters to their satisfaction.

“Working in the customer relations role, I became very aware of the common themes having a negative effect on customers and the deeper I looked into some of these issues the more I realised things needed to get better for them. This led me to choose a career in financial services, with a view to making a positive difference for as many people as I could”

Richard’s  commitment to his profession is demonstrated by his extensive list of qualifications, he is a Chartered Financial Planner and Fellow of the Personal Finance Society (FPFS). These accolades show a clear willingness go beyond the basic requirement and to develop a deeper understanding of what life planning entails. What was very noticeable in our conversation was  that despite his gold standard qualifications, not at one point did he wander into highly technical talk or look to complicate the conversation, he instead focused on speaking with clarity and meaningfulness which was very refreshing and not my experience of financial advisers.

 “The most important thing to me is helping clients achieve the financial outcome they desire. My qualifications and experience put me in a good place to help with that, but high;y technical talk does not make a notable difference to my clients, instead it usually just confuses discussion and takes the focus away from the client and their goals”.

He added:

 “Yes it is essential from a technical perspective that things are done in the right way and done well, but in my opinion things can only be done right and done well, with a full understanding of where you are now, how you got to where you are now, and what you want to do on the way to where you’re going”.

Richard went on to explain that the decision to establish his own business, came hand in hand with an invitation to become a financial planner with Continuum (Financial Services) LLP.

“Continuum  provides me with a vital support network and access to an extensive amount of expertise if I ever need it, which can only be positive for my clients. More importantly though, being a part of Continuum has allowed me to develop my business in my own unique way and in an area of life planning I have become extremely passionate about, largely due to personal experience, in later life and care planning”.

To draw to a close, I asked Richard to explain a bit more about what he means when he talks about making a positive difference for people which he had mentioned on several occasions. Richard feels strongly that:

“Social Care and mental health have been given increased media attention during the Covid-19 period, and interestingly, when it comes to social care, it is surprising how many people are unaware of the planning options available to them. I want to stop as many families as possible from suffering avoidable, additional stress at a time when stress levels may already be high. I do this by encouraging my clients, where possible, to engage the whole family in the planning process. This can help everyone in the family understand what needs to happen and when, if certain situations arise, like for example, a loss of mental capacity. By helping people ensure that they have the right plan in place, which can be adapted when required, I can make a real positive difference to not only those in later life, but also the rest of their family”.

It is apparent that previous roles haven’t allowed Richard to be as prominent in the community as much as he would have liked. Events since March have prevented him from realising plans that he had, but from what he tells me, he does want to become much more involved in the Clevedon community and even plans to host a number of local events once able to do so.

Richard was very easy to engage with and as I have no contacts in this field, I could well see myself turning to him for professional advice. I think we can expect to hear more from Richard over the coming weeks and months.

Check out Richard and the Continuum team here:

Email:        Telephone: 0117 966 3902  

Continuum is the trading name of Continuum (Financial Services) LLP. Continuum (Financial Services) LLP is authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered address: Falcon House, Eagle Road, Langage, Plymouth, PL7 5JY.  Registered in England and Wales. OC393363. Continuum (Financial Services) LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership

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