Frequently Asked Questions
Pensions by Candlelight is finance without the jargon and where there’s no such thing as a stupid question. It’s a good, friendly chat over dinner where you ask all the questions you like and there's no hard sell or thousands of pounds of fees.
1. What is Pensions by Candlelight?
Personal finance doesn’t have to be intimidating or confusing. Imagine enjoying a relaxed dinner with friends who can explain how it all works and answer your questions. Pensions by Candlelight is finance without the jargon and there’s no such thing as a stupid question. It’s good, friendly company over dinner washed down with a nice glass of red (or white) to smooth things along.
Also because this is financial education, there’s no hard sell from an adviser and it won’t cost you £££ thousands in fees.
2. What do we cover?
Every session is different depending on people’s interests and concerns, but we always cover what you can do to improve your state, company and private pensions. We talk about saving and investing and how to draw an income from your retirement savings tax efficiently.
We also discuss the importance of having a will and the best ways of leaving money to your loved ones. Most important of all we take the mystery out of finance.
3. Are you a financial adviser and will you be trying to sell me financial products?
No I am a financial educator with three decades of experience in pensions and investment and a passion for helping people understand personal finance. Weird I know, but true.
Because I am not a financial adviser I can’t provide specific investment advice and I certainly won’t be selling you any financial products.
PensionMan is all about giving people the opportunity to learn how to do things for themselves. What we usually find is that once you understand how these things work (and it’s not difficult I can assure you) what you need to do actually becomes obvious very quickly without the need for specific financial advice.
Of course certain legal and financial matters do require specialist advice. In such circumstances we don’t hesitate to encourage you to seek further, more detailed assistance.
4. If you’re not a financial adviser what is your experience?
As a fund management professional I have been the strategist for an €8 billion credit portfolio for over 13 years. I’ve also served on numerous corporate pensions and retirement investment committees.
My first job after graduating from the London School of Economics well over 30 years ago was in pensions administration with Sun Life and I have worked in finance and investment ever since.
Take a look at my website and judge for yourself the value of what I have to say.
5. How much does it cost?
Our Pensions By Candlelight dinners cost a fraction of the thousands of pounds people are charged for the most routine consultations with a financial adviser. The scandal of the Tata Steel workers in Port Talbot saw advisers charge up to £18,000 to arrange a pension transfer. Previous guests have paid £2,000 simply for advice on making a top up to their ISA savings.
With your 33% new customer discount, the three course dinner, wine, your pensions workbook and some free goodies from us, the cost is just £95 a head. If you choose to bring a partner or friend you’ll each pay just £70.
6. What if I’m ill?
If you can give us 48 hours notice we can probably invite someone else and give you a full refund. With less notice we can either transfer your booking to a future event or reserve the right to deduct the cost of the meal to refund you.
7. And finally, if I really don’t feel the event was excellent value for money
We will refund the cost of the event (less the meal), but you can keep the materials and gifts. This has never happened before, but if you really feel that the dinner hasn’t worked for you we will, of course, refund your money.
Should that be the case we would obviously be very keen to know why, but you don’t have to provide us with an explanation if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.