Turning on the news can be depressing at the moment. With millions suffering financially due to the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine continuing, it is all too easy to forget the good in the world and overlook the everyday acts of kindness that make us who we are.
Recently, The Pension Planner’s adviser Dave Garforth found his kindness and empathy toward a client reciprocated most unexpectedly, as he was reunited with a priceless memento of his late father’s career in pop music.
Here he is to tell us all about it.
Pop band The Fortunes saw huge chart success in the 1960s
In August 1965, pop group The Fortunes reached number two in the UK charts with “You’ve Got Your Troubles”. The song went on to sell more than 1 million copies, achieving a gold disc.
“My father was a founding member,” says Dave. “He was there for all of their early hits, including “You’ve Got Your Troubles” and “The Real Thing” which was used by Coca-Cola to introduce its new slogan in 1969.”
There aren’t any original members of The Fortunes left, but there are later incarnations that are still out there touring.
“My father went on to have a career in music,” Dave continues. “But sadly, at some point down the years, his gold disc was lost. When he became ill, it was a wish of his that he could be reunited with the disc. Sadly, he passed away in 2019 without that wish being granted.”
A new client relationship leads to an incredible act of kindness
Fast-forward to summer 2021 and Dave began talking to a potential new client.
Lee Hopkins was approaching retirement and looking for advice. As he does with all his clients, Dave took the time to get to know Lee on a deeper, individual level.
“At The Pension Planner, we really buy into our clients,” says Dave.
Lee was suffering from stress and wasn’t in the right place to begin planning his finances. But Dave stayed in touch and by February 2021, Lee was ready to discuss his plans. He was also incredibly grateful to Dave for his patience and empathy, and for sticking by him.
“The FCA would have you believe that our role as advisers is all about costs and charges and technical jargon, but behind all of that is a human being, and it’s vital we understand that. Retirement advice, and managing pension income, can be seen as boring and mundane. But I don’t believe in ‘boring’ and ‘mundane’.”
Lee picks up the story: “I found David’s approach affable and friendly. He put me at ease and I warmed to him as a person. We chatted about life, football, and music (as well as my long-term saving plans!).”
“I was touched by the story of his Dad and the missing gold disc. It was clear that it meant a lot to David and […] I felt moved to try and help.”
Music industry connections and a new gold disc
After his father’s death, Dave had tried to find the missing gold disc. Through discussions with The Fortunes’ official fan club and an article in the local paper, Dave had made some progress. But then the trail went dry.
As Dave told Lee this story, Lee mentioned his career in the music industry, as a band member and chart compiler.
“It was clear that [the missing disc] meant a lot to David,” says Lee. “As I work in the music industry, I felt moved to try and help acquire an officially endorsed replacement for him and the family to keep as a memento of his Dad’s wonderful musical achievements.
“After not making any progress with the record company involved, I thankfully had a useful conversation with a contact at the BPI (who officially award all such discs).”
Lee was able to contact the man who creates these awards, and from him, Lee commissioned a replacement that was fully acknowledged by that organisation.
Cut to April 2022 and Dave received a replica gold disc honouring his father’s 1 million record sales, fully certified by the BPI.
Lee covered the cost of producing and certifying the disc, plus the postage to get it to Dave and his family.
“I’ve had cakes baked for me before, and I’ve been to family gatherings of some of my clients, which have been lovely. But this act of kindness really blew me away. It meant so much to me and my family.
“It’s a memento of dad’s achievements and we feel very proud and privileged. As well as eternally grateful to Lee.”
A good news story during challenging times
“With all the doom and gloom in the world currently, it’s nice to have a story with a happy ending,” says Dave.
At The Pension Planner, our clients are far more than a set of numbers on a spreadsheet. Our team of dedicated advisers “buy into” our clients, looking to build long-term relationships based on a deep understanding of their goals and connections on an individual level.
“The fact that Lee and I were able to make that sort of connection through financial advice – and having only ever connected via email and through Microsoft Teams – is a real achievement.
“And the relationship has had huge benefits for us both.”
As Lee sums up, “We all have our stories and journeys and it’s nice to be involved in helping somebody on theirs.”
Get in touch
If you would like help with any aspect of your finances, or you have family or friends who might benefit from expert financial advice, get in touch and find out what we can do for you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 0787 182.