In 2010, Jonathan left Bluefin and formed Tucana with Lance Baron. Mike then had to decide whether to stay with Bluefin – a larger company – or continue working with Jonathan at Tucana.
“There must have been chemistry at the start,” Mike says. “Through meetings and discussions, I discovered who and what Tucana is. Since then, they have become closer to me and I’ve become closer to them. There is mutual trust.”
Mike describes himself as careful by nature. He was always mindful of the security aspects of choosing an investment advisor. “I’m not a massive risk-taker and I didn’t want a company with no track record.”
When his wife became ill, Mike retired early to spend time with her. Meanwhile, he took various Non-Executive Director roles which continued after she passed away. These responsibilities finally ended about ten years ago.
He met his current partner, Jan, about 15 years ago. Together, they have a total of four children and nine grandchildren. The couple have travelled together extensively, and have visited New Zealand, a game drive in Kenya, Boston in the fall, South Africa, and Vancouver Island.
“I got the travel bug in my job,” explains Mike. “I used to travel around Scandinavia and the Baltics a lot, I was in Russia during the Yeltsin coup d’état, and have travelled around Canada and Indonesia.”
Now 75 years old, Mike lives in Stroud, Gloucestershire, and is trying to get his golf handicap down. “But it keeps going up!” he laughs.
All Mike’s investments are still with Tucana, and he is happy that everything we do is transparent. He meets Jonathan regularly for frank discussions. Mike says: “I’m able to have a look at the up-to-date situation with my investments on the Internet, but if I want Jonathan, I can get hold of him.”
Mike talks freely and openly to Jonathan about “all sorts of things”, what to do about Wills, how to protect his assets including the cash invested in his main residence and a property he rents out, and how to deal with inheritance tax.
“No-one knows what’s going to happen, so we’ve discussed various scenarios in total confidence – such as what happens if Jan or I need long-term care. Jonathan makes very good suggestions. Some I like; some I leave. He never pushes me. If I’m uneasy about anything, we leave it and talk again another time. I know I can go back over the same track on a number of occasions to re-challenge the advice given.”
Jonathan keeps telling Mike to spend some of his money, but the only thing he’s bought recently is a Range Rover Sport. “It’s the largest thing I’ve spent money on next to a mortgage,” says Mike.
He’s been a decision-maker all his life and likes having a sense of control over his investments. “I’ve worked hard for my assets,” he says. “I’m not a control freak, but I do want input. I want to touch and feel where my investments are. I can do that with confidence thanks to Jonathan and the Tucana team. They are very professional and supportive, and always on time. They ‘do what it says on the tin’. They perform.”
Mike would rely on Jonathan if anything happens to him. “He knows my solicitor and accountant, and I trust him to help sort out my estate – assuming he’s still around then!”
By the way, Jan is even more cautious than Mike, and all her funds are in the Post Office and building society. Even though the interest rates are “appalling”, she wants to access all her funds herself. “She hasn’t got any investments with Tucana at all, but Jonathan talks to her every time he visits anyway,” says Mike.
Mike’s message to you
“If you haven’t looked for investment advice before, you might have a natural fear factor. If you don’t have the experience, there’s enough going on in the finance world to make you think it’s dangerous. You do have to be careful in this rip-off world of scams and people trying to get the edge on you.
That’s why I recommend you first understand what you’re trying to do. If you have property or cash or shares, sit with someone and tell them all the facts and your concerns in a friendly way. Clearly, I’d recommend Jonathan and Lance at Tucana. They are a good listening ear and they won’t make you feel stupid.”