Five Minutes with Seb Ridout

Seb Ridout is First Wealth’s newest Chartered Financial Planner. We sat down for five minutes with Seb to talk financial planning, his journey, the future of the profession, and more.

We are so pleased that Seb is part of the team, and are excited to see him grow.


Tell us about your journey; why did you join First Wealth?

For the last eight years I have been working with clients in the finance profession. For five of those years, I have been giving what I call ‘proper’ financial planning advice.

By this I mean advice that is provided with the client and their goals in mind. Using cashflow projections, we ask what matters most and provide behavioural coaching to help you stick to the plan.

Over those five years I feel I’ve really come into a sweet spot for ‘proper’ advice. Ensuring this type of financial advice, rather than product-focused planning, is used is something I am incredibly passionate about.

I see First Wealth as one of only two or three firms which embrace this type of advice with open arms. They manage money with the lives and wants of their clients at the forefront and have values that align with my own.

This alignment in values was a key motivator in coming to the firm.

What does your role consist of?

To put it simply, I build financial plans which give my clients peace of mind. I make sure they don’t have to worry about running out of money and can achieve what matters most to them.

Day to day, this has me focusing on client work. This consists of meeting with clients and prospective clients to ensure they have transparency, a space to ask questions, and support in maintaining their plan and life more generally.

By far the best part of my role is spending time with clients to help them achieve success in their world.

By getting insight into what is important to them, and making a plan to help them achieve this without the stress of doing it themselves, we can make a real difference together.

What are you most passionate about within the finance profession?

There are two answers to this.

First, finance doesn’t need to be complicated. When we look at the essence of financial planning, we can see that it’s about creating wealth in the right way. The investment race should be led in a globally diversified investment portfolio which manages costs where possible, is backed with evidence, and does not make clients overpay.

Second, everyone should have a financial plan – financial planning isn’t just for people with investments. When you find the right financial planner, and you can build wealth, and understand what to do with the wealth you currently have. The right planner will base your plan around that.

What do you think the future of the financial services holds?

I’m hesitant to answer this one… I think the profession will embrace whatever changes come about.

But how much better can the financial services get? I think we are currently in a really great position, with a growing focus on personal elements alongside the actual finance.

There will of course be additions to things like the way we present to clients, but in its essence, the financial services is already in a fantastic place.

What is the most valuable thing you have learnt about the profession?

When it comes to wealth creation, start yesterday and be patient; there is no better time to invest than yesterday. If you can focus on that, rather than trying to time the markets, you’re onto a winner.

Ignore the noise, be patient, remain invested, invest if and when it is affordable, maintain those investments, and let the global markets take the reins from there.

What career advice has helped you on your journey?

Getting in at the right firm is important. Working in the right type of space, with the right type of people, and building plans in the right way.

Get in at that right firm and absorb everything you can from the mentors there. Soak it all up, get your qualifications, and go from there.

What motivates you?

When working with clients my motivation is showing them they can do the things they want to without the fear of running out of money. Knowing that I can provide advice that will enable them to fulfil their potential. That is what drives me.

But, on a personal note, taking part or watching sport and exercise is a big motivator – it rejuvenates me.

Can you recommend a financial planning book or resource for us?

The best financial planning book I have read is Enough (by Paul Armson).

It changed my view on how advice should be provided. This is good both if you have your financial planner hat on. It’s also great if you are on a wealth creation journey. Perfectly placed for both planners and clients alike.

Who inspires you?

I have a few sporting icons. But I’m really driven to succeed by my family members – primarily my father and brother.

This document is marketing material for a retail audience and does not constitute advice or recommendations. Past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

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