Capital Life

Financial planning is for life. In our Capital Life blog you can read our thoughts on key life moments and major financial decisions, from understanding risk and reward to giving the kids the right education and securing the retirement you want.

Graham McCulley

Director | Chartered Financial Planner

joined Capital 15 years ago in 2004 having started in the Financial Planning profession in 1995. I am qualified as a Chartered Financial Planner and a Fellow of the Personal Financial Society. I am responsible for client relationships; I chair our investment committee and I am our inhouse pension specialist.

Nobody in my family had ever gone on to higher education, so I made it my mission to get some form of degree. I didn’t know what, and wasn’t driven to be anything in particular – I just wanted to achieve something. School was a bit of a struggle and I wasn’t the brightest in the class. In the top set, but at the bottom academically. I remember we all had to stand up in class and could only sit down once your exam result was read out from high score to low. Yep, I stood there quite a while. However, I kept plugging away and in the end it was worth it and my time at University was lovely. If truth be told, these are perhaps some of my best memories. I met a fantastic group of people, and that’s what life is all about in my book.

So off I went to London, started working in a bank selling insurance and investments and within two years it was over. It was a sales job so I didn’t really fit in. I remained a financial adviser and moved into accountancy. The environment was far more professional, and it was a good move. It gave me new inspiration, it was time to get professional exams and become properly qualified, to get Certified and Chartered status.

Life was good, the career was moving nicely, the mortgage was under control, we had holidays with friends, and then suddenly, at the age of 30, my dad died with no warning. That is something you never really get over, but after about two years and with the emotions calming, I saw life through a new lens. I can’t say these experiences make you a better person, but you are wiser and you do think deeper. I now live more for the day but still have a plan for tomorrow. It’s getting the balance right, that’s the trick.

I am a cat person, although would love a dog too but we both work, so can’t. My partner Diana loves horses, while I, at best, like them. She rides with her friends every week, but a few years ago we spent our holiday on a ranch in Montana. It was so good we are going back next year. I’m not a convert, but do like a challenge. We have also, courtesy of a great recommendation from clients Tom and Mona, discovered the beautiful town of Pollenca in Mallorca. We’ve been several times and never get tired of its charming character. It’s now our favourite place and the family all feel so at home there.

This year we are off to see the Orangutans in Borneo and will spend time exploring. It will be great to get my camera out – I love my Nikon D90, it’s my favourite piece of kit. Photography may sound a little dull, but it’s very challenging to get that perfect photo.

With the weather warming the home BBQ is now out, and my usual Friday curry is under threat, but not the cold beer that accompanies it. I am very lucky, there are some super restaurants in Maidenhead and I do like cooking. Now, the usual dilemma, curry or BBQ… decisions, decisions.

Posts by Graham McCulley

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