John Green is a manager for the Middle East at Professional Investment Consultants (Pic). He discusses his financial journey having been in the UAE for six years.
UAE wealth adviser avoids ‘red or black’ casino style
Describe your financial journey so far.
My career in financial services brought me to the UAE six years ago, after being in the industry in the United Kingdom for 14 years. I have a small property portfolio in the UK and also investments in the offshore market, as I try [to] be as diverse as possible. I would say that my financial journey has been pretty stable, and hardly “red or black” casino style.
Are you a spender or a saver?
The short answer is both. I have been planning people’s finances for nearly two decades and I have seen both extremes. I find that the UAE can drag people sometimes down the wrong road and I feel that people should not let the chance of tax-free earnings go by without saving for the future. I use a very simple formula that I should save every month I work, as I intend to spend money in every month not working in retirement. However, I also believe in enjoying the enhanced lifestyle of the UAE.
What is your philosophy towards money?
My philosophy is that if I can do my job with passion, treat everyone’s finances as my own or my family’s, then money will be a by-product of doing a focused job. Money is needed in all walks of life for both myself and my clients, so being able to provide a service to assist people in bullet-proofing their financial futures is my philosophy.
Did you make any financial mistakes along the way?
Not really, I have bought assets [that were] overpriced, but [I] never panicked, so therefore I never realised a loss. I look at savings as a long-term strategy. I am a cautious investor, so [I] could have made more returns, been more aggressive, but I’m happy with [the] returns I’ve achieved. I prefer to look at less volatile investments for steady growth, as most people I advise do also.
Do you believe in planning for the future?
Everything in life should be planned and finances for me are very close to the top of the priority list. So I regularly plan and maintain/review my financial plans, as I believe this will help my family choices. I use this approach with my clients’ planning, as people need change over time. So to keep on top of this is important for all.
Is money important to you?
Yes, of course. Money allows me to carry out my aspirations for my family and me, [so that we can] plan events with more freedom and choice. Most of my clients here in the UAE also believe money is important, as this is a big driver in moving to the Middle East.
What do you enjoy spending money on?
I love to travel, drive a nice car and live in a nice house. I love to look after my family and enjoy the life the UAE can provide, but I keep grounded and make sure I’m not too extravagant.