Welcome to our Little Black Book, an inspirational series of business stories and insights from our brilliant members.

Sarah Quirk

Sarah Quirk on supportive saving

By Sarah Quirk

Managing Director - SarahQuirk Wealth Associates

Sarah Quirk’s 30-year journey in the realm of finance began as a financial adviser in Germany, supporting the military and their families whilst she was living there. A skill that she reassigned to corporates upon returning to the UK working with clients including the Bank of England, Estée Lauder, and Citibank.

But it is the last decade of her career that has seen her at her happiest: since a series of fortuitous circumstances led her to join St James’ place and establish her own company, Sarah Quirk Wealth Associates, 10 years ago.

Whilst delivering the pragmatic benefits of sound financial advice, Sarah’s approach has caring and compassionate undertones, giving her clients lifestyle support through a fresh perspective on finance.

Connect on LinkedIn

As a financial advisor, what are your services and specialisms?

I do the whole spectrum of financial advice, comprised of four key areas.

Financial planning – everything that encompasses a financial advisor. I call this lifestyle planning because it’s about using financial planning to create your lifestyle of choice.

I also do trust work and long-term care planning as a member of SOLLA (Society of Later Life Advisers).

Finally, I work with SMEs – understanding what they want as a business and where they are on their business journey.

What do you find most rewarding about what you do?

From a day-to-day perspective, it’s walking in and feeling a sense of belonging with my colleagues.

From a work perspective, it’s rewarding helping clients to change their lives – supporting them in getting the home of their choice, education for their children, or support for families’ care.

Examples include a Captain in the Navy who I’ve worked with for over 20 years who now has the house that he always wanted, has put his son through university, and has enough money to comfortably retire. More recently, I have been supporting a retired couple who need help in caring for their daughter.

We pride ourselves on our honesty and integrity; supporting clients from a position of absolute sincerity even through the darkest times when they can't afford to do something because we want them to achieve what they want.

Do you want more articles like this in your inbox? If so then register below...

"I started the business to change the way that financial advice was given. When you delve into what people want out of life and make that a priority, money is just a means to an end."

What advice would you give to someone at the beginning of their financial planning?

Initially, I wouldn’t even talk about finance. The first part of any financial planning is establishing who someone is, what they want out of life, and what’s important to them because that will drive what they need to do financially.

I started the business to change the way that financial advice was given. When you delve into what people want out of life and make that a priority, money is just a means to an end.

Understanding someone, what inspires them, what motivates them, and then supporting them on their journey to achieve their goals has a powerful end.

Things like making sure clients use all their allowances every year are all done as part of their financial journey, but you can’t do that unless you understand someone and what they want.

We also bring in other trusted advisors so that collectively we can help people on their journey. We get people to embrace themselves and give themselves permission to visualise what they actually want and whether it’s achievable or not.

What are the misconceptions people have about financial planning?

There are misconceptions about financial advisors – people tend to view financial advisors as transactional individuals. That’s not what it’s about; it’s about longevity in a relationship.

I deal with extremely wealthy individuals, I deal with SMEs, but I also deal with the other end as well, because everyone should be treated equally and with the same level of respect.

What does the current economic climate mean for financial planning?

Out of 300 clients, I’ve only had two that have contacted me about the current economic climate –because the way that we position is that no one should be doing anything unless they can afford to do it.

We make sure that clients aren’t reliant on what they’re investing. The current climate has made no difference to my clients because we’ve done our due diligence and we’ve made contingency funds.

We’re very robust in our review process; all our advice and recommendations are flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances whether those be personal or due to external market conditions.

"Understanding someone, what inspires them, what motivates them, and then supporting them on their journey to achieve their goals has a powerful end."

Managing Director - SarahQuirk Wealth Associates

What principles govern your own life planning and guidance?

Everything is grounded from the core values that my mum gave me: honesty, integrity, and equal values. Treat everybody the same and with mutual respect. Everyone has different skill sets but they all support you in your journey.

My mum passed away three months after I moved into the building for my business. She was too poorly to see it, but she gave me all of the tools that I needed to be the person I am today.

The beige in my branding is all about the grounding that my mum gave me, the purple is my mum’s favourite colour, and the Q is the arms of love that my mum gave me: and that’s how we embrace our clients.

What you enjoy doing outside of the business?

I spent 35 years in the Salvation Army as a musician and I’ve just been encouraged to join a wind band again. I also love dancing, especially salsa and jive.

The only man in my life is my dog Stanley – that comes without complications and he’s grateful for anything.

I enjoy visiting my daughter in Devon; family is important to me, but equally, I have to make my own life too – I’ve just starting a painting course and I’m just starting a macrame course.

Sarah Quirk