Nest Egg with Conor Martin: From investor to protector

This story begins back in 2007 when a former financial markets trader changed careers to become a wealth manager with a well-known stockbroker in Dublin, where it was his job to invest the wealth of Irish individuals, families and sometimes charities.

His job role changed again in 2014 when he decided to simultaneously set up his own company and re-train to be a Certified Financial Planner - CFP. It’s the role of a CFP to help individuals, families and companies to put a lifetime financial plan in place to achieve their objectives.

Financial planners on top of their game will always share real-life good & bad cases with their peers to help educate one another to become better at their profession.

I heard a story a while back from another financial planner who sat down with a couple and designed an investment plan in 2018 that included a lump sum investment and an educational savings plan for their 3 children for when they each reached 3rd level age.

The wife of the couple phoned the financial planner in early 2021 and asked to drop into his office to review everything because their circumstances had changed significantly. The lump sum and educational savings plans had grown quite nicely thanks to rising equity markets.

However, when the wife arrived, she didn’t want to discuss investment performance. She explained in the meeting that her husband had been diagnosed with late-stage cancer and hadn’t been able to work for the past 3 months.

His treatment would last for at least the next six months and, as he was self-employed, his income was not being replaced by any employer or insurance policy. She bluntly asked the advisor why he didn’t recommend an income protection policy or additional life assurance when they first sat down. She told him that the investment gains were irrelevant to them now, in light of his diagnosis.

I’m not sure if protection had been discussed at that first meeting but the point remains that all bases must be covered when putting a plan in place.

Our former financial trader and all of his fellow financial planners in the company now spend as much, if not more time, discussing the necessity of putting the correct amounts of protection in place before any investment ideas are discussed. I’ve heard another advisor explain these requirements in terms of the three possible outcomes for any individual on their life journey.

The three scenarios are (a) you will not live long enough (you die prematurely leaving obvious consequences behind you for your family), (b) you live too long (your retirement pot runs out and you have not saved enough to live up to and pass your life expectancy) or (c) you get seriously ill in between.

The three scenarios do require some planning so that a complete mess is not left around you or behind you for your family to deal with. Just ask anyone who has recently dealt with a bereavement in the family. The last thing they now want to find out is that the loss of a loved one has thrown financial headaches and stresses onto them also.

Some questions to ask yourself no matter what stage of life you are at should include the following. Will my employer pay all or some of my salary, in the event that I get seriously ill while working for them? (Find out exactly how much & for how long this cover lasts for). Are my family & my

mortgage(s) covered by life assurance in the event of my death? If my partner is a homemaker and we have children, then is he/she also covered by life assurance should they pass away suddenly? Do I have any serious/specified illness cover in place that will pay me a lump sum in the event of a serious diagnosis?

All of these types of protection must be covered in a lifetime financial plan and at least be discussed at the first meeting with your financial planner.

Often these things fall into the ‘sure we’ll come back to that’ category. I wouldn’t advise deferring these decisions as nobody know what tomorrow will bring.

Contact Conor Martin at - see for more details