It’s fair to say that Nick Cohen is younger than your average financial planner, but that doesn’t mean he lacks experience about financial matters. He’s been clear-headed about his career path ever since he was at university.

As Nick explains: “I grew up in Yorkshire and went to study Economics and Maths at Leeds University, because I absolutely loved the city. I knew I wanted to do something finance-related but didn’t know specifically what that would look like.

“While at uni, I had a part-time bartending job, and got talking to a customer who ran an outsourced analysis service to financial advisory practices. He invited me to the company’s career open day, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to understand more. They offered me a job before I’d graduated. I had my last exam one week, and then started as an associate on the following Monday. I didn’t even attend my graduation ceremony. I had found a career, and that was what I really wanted.”

"It sounds cheesy, but I genuinely like helping people"

Starting out in finance

Those early days were formative in helping Nick understand where his skills lay. “I was responsible for analysing clients’ assets and investments. It was an interesting introduction to the world of financial advice and gave me an insight into what good advice looks like.”

It was here that Nick realised he wanted a face-to-face role, working with clients as part of the advice process. He explains: “It sounds cheesy, but I genuinely like helping people. I get a buzz from solving problems, whether that means helping people to pay less tax, achieve their goal of retiring early, or helping with all the kinds of issues people encounter throughout their financial life.”

Helping clients achieve financial security

There’s clearly a science to what Nick offers his clients: “At Leodis we use cash flow modelling with almost every client, because, while not guaranteeing anything, it’s a really good indicator. With cash flow modelling, we can use the details of the client’s current financial situation to estimate the growth of their wealth at any given point in the future. It’s particularly useful for planning retirement, as you can estimate the size of pension someone will be able to retire with, depending on their current contributions.” Nick then uses this information to create a retirement plan that suits that client’s specific lifestyle and priorities.

“People often worry whether they will have enough to afford to retire. Cash flow modelling really helps put their mind at ease and gives them something to aim for if there is a shortfall”. Nick believes it can also help clients plan for unexpected expenses, such as medical bills, as well as help determine the best investment strategies to ensure they have enough money to last throughout their retirement.

For Nick, his role often involves talking to clients and explaining what’s happening in the world of investment markets too. Nick says: “I’m quite proactive with my clients and will often ring people up to talk through what’s being reported in the news. Sometimes it’s just about reminding clients we’re on top of things and that doing nothing is usually the right thing. But it’s important to give people your honest appraisal and reassurance when it’s needed.”

"More should be done to encourage financial understanding among children of all ages"

Nick is close to reaching Chartered Financial Planner status – a sign of his dedication and professionalism – and expects to achieve it by the end of the year. He used to spend his spare time cycling, running, golf and generally trying to keep fit. But with an 11-month-old daughter, those activities have taken a back seat.

“At the moment, my biggest hobby is trying to get enough sleep at night! My daughter is utterly delightful but as most new dads will tell you, it’s a big change to your lifestyle.”

Financial education should start at school

The birth of his daughter has reinforced Nick’s belief that financial education should start in school, so future generations can learn to manage their money more effectively. He believes more should be done to encourage financial understanding among children of all ages. In the past he’s given talks on financial planning in schools and hopes to do more.

He says: “I enjoy talking to children about the basics of understanding money, everything from budgeting, money management, things like credit card debt, student loans, mortgages, savings and investments. You can get some really interesting questions from kids!”

Part of this education involves presenting the positive side of financial planning: “I think the media can sometimes seem very negative about the cost-of-living crisis and telling young people they will never be able to afford to buy a house. I don’t think that’s helpful for the younger generation.

“I prefer to take a more positive approach, and show that if you save and invest early, it doesn’t have to be out of reach. But most importantly, everyone’s lifestyles and standards of living are different. We need to teach them that it’s important to find their own path and focus on their own life goals, rather than worrying about what other people might have.”

Life Landscaping® from Amber River

Independent financial planner, Nick Cohen, joined Amber River Leodis Wealth (formerly Leodis Wealth) in 2022. He believes that educating young people on the importance of financial management and avoiding financial envy are the secrets to a happier life.

Amber River Leodis Wealth

You may be interested in Nick’s expert advice for new parents: 5 financial tips for business owners

Get in touch

To arrange an appointment with Nick, or another Amber River financial planner in your area, call 0800 915 0000. Alternatively, use our contact form here.