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Team Spotlight: George Gilham, Financial Planner

George Gilham

Since joining us in 2021, it’s been a surprise to absolutely no-one how fast George has progressed at Goodmans. Starting as a Trainee Paraplanner, he quickly soaked up all the complex, technical learnings to graduate to a full Paraplanner role. After more study and graft – alongside building great relationships with clients – he started training as a Financial Planner in February 2023.

Last year was an especially big one for George. First his promotion, then he conquered the Dolomites on the Goodmans adventure in June, got engaged in September and wrapped up 2023 by bagging his industry Diploma. As well as being a high achiever, he also happens to be one of the most reliable and friendly people you can hope to meet, bringing extra good vibes to our Exeter office. Lucky us!

It was high time we put him under the spotlight.

Hi George, you can stop blushing now! How would you describe your work in three words? 

Important, trusting and rewarding.

That’s a great way of summing up our relationships with clients too. You probably have a few to pick from, but what's been your proudest moment at Goodmans to date?  

It would have to be achieving my Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning at the end of 2023, being the outcome of two years of studying outside of work and passing six exams.

It’s not an easy thing to achieve, especially on top of the day job, so you’re right to feel proud! We all know you’re a positive person, so this might be another tricky one to narrow down: what keeps you smiling at work every day? 

It has to be creating positive outcomes for our clients and helping them achieve their objectives.

We’d have to agree that, done right, financial planning is really more of a vocation than a job… moving on to life outside the office, what's on your reading or listening list at the moment? 

Currently, there’s not much time for leisurely reading as I’m working towards my AF exam for the Advanced Diploma, which is my next step towards achieving Chartered Financial Planner status.
But I have recently jumped on the podcast trend, usually listening on my commute into work. I’ll typically listen to the football themed ones, like from ex-professional footballer, Peter Crouch, that kind of thing.

That sounds like a good antidote to reading about tax and trusts in your spare time! What else keeps you busy when you’re not working?

Landscaping our back garden! Although it’s taken nearly a year to complete, I’m very proud to have revamped the garden without any professional help. We decided to extend our patio area for a larger space to socialise, which meant removing a lot of ground that was in its place. But with blood, sweat, tears and more sweat, I’m happy (and relieved!) that its finally done.

Excellent work, done in good time for the summer too – we see many barbeques in your future! Next question: can you narrow down the best thing about the South West for you? 

Living in Taunton and working mainly in Exeter, I’m able to experience the best of Somerset and Devon. I’ve always enjoyed living in the South West, having relocated from Kent as a teenager around 15 years ago. I enjoy the countryside walks and the nearby beaches in the summer.

There’s certainly plenty of amazing landscapes around here to choose from, we’re very lucky in the South West. Can you tell us if you have a quote or phrase that goes through life with you?

I can’t remember where I heard this or who said it… but I once heard something along the lines of “There are two pains in life: the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. Discipline weighs a pound, but regret weighs a tonne”. I find it a useful reminder when pushing on and working hard towards my exams.

Inspiration indeed, wise words to live by. Do you have a hero? If so, who is it and why?

I don’t necessarily have a ‘hero’, but I would say that I look up to the more experienced Financial Planners here at Goodmans and I’m continuing to learn from them all.

Uh-oh, we think you may have just kicked off some superhero nicknames in the team… Finally, if you could give your younger self one piece of advice what would it be? 

I think it would just be to take every opportunity you get and keep travelling to as many places as you can. Oh, and don’t take your hairline for granted!

Haha! Thank you, George, it was great finding out more about you. 

Read George's bio

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Fernanda de Gouveia

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