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Meet the experts: Lizzie Watts, Paraplanner

By Lizzie Watts

Posted 7th Jul 2021

Reading Time: 4 Minutes

We’re aware that a lot of the time, the person whom you as a client come into regular contact with at Emery Little is your financial planner; the personal face of your investment plans and aspirations. But behind this knowledgeable face is a whole team of other specialists, applying their expertise and experience to inform, manage and support your financial plans.  

We feel we want you to ‘meet’ these people and give you a sense of Emery Little as a whole.  

So let us introduce one of our Paraplanners, Lizzie Watts.

Take it away, Lizzie…

Like many people, I ended up in financial planning by accident. I graduated with a law degree at a time when there weren’t many jobs around and I’d already ruled out a legal career. A family friend worked at a big financial planning firm that needed some temporary administration help. I took the job thinking I’d work and save for 6 months and then go travelling, but almost 7 years later I was still there and had worked my way up to managing an administration team in a company that had more than quadrupled in size since I started.  

The urge to go exploring was still there however and luckily my partner felt the same and so we decided to take the opportunity to travel whilst we could before settling down properly. After seeing a lot of South-East Asia and Australia, we settled in Queenstown New Zealand and lived there for almost 2 years enjoying the lakes, mountains and amazing outdoor lifestyle that NZ offers. It is still my favourite place on earth! 

The urge for a bit more stability and being closer to friends and family brought us back to the UK, and I made the deliberate decision to find a financial planning firm that was smaller and more personal, whilst having all of the drive and development opportunities of the large company I’d left. Luckily Emery Little fit the bill perfectly and I’ve been here just over a year.

After many years working in administration, I have now moved into the world of Paraplanning which gives me more hands-on involvement in the planning and report-writing work that we do for our clients. 

There is a never-ending list of specialisms and technical knowledge (and exams) that you can develop as a Paraplanner, which is both exciting and sometimes daunting! I particularly like getting to meet our clients at their review meetings – I’m often the one quietly making notes in the background to support the Planner – and putting faces to the names that we spend many hours looking at behind the scenes. 

As I am still early on in my Paraplanning career, I also love getting the opportunity to learn from my more experienced Paraplanning and Planning colleagues who are all so wonderful, knowledgeable, and patient with my endless questions!

Paraplanners assist the Planners in ensuring that their recommendations are clearly laid out in reports for our clients to digest, and that any supporting documentation and background research has been completed to the highest possible standard. We are also hopefully another friendly face at Emery Little that clients feel they could contact at any time for support.

I love windsurfing and skiing, although after 2 years of lockdown both my fitness and ability to do either are at an all-time low. I have a bad habit of buying too many books, and have just had to negotiate space at home for yet another bookshelf. I also love anything creative, and have just inherited my first sewing machine from a family member so am slowly getting to grips with it – my friends and family are politely accepting slightly wonky home-made gifts at present, but I hope to improve!

My partner Sean and I recently bought our first house which has been incredibly exciting. We have also been engaged since January 2020 but for obvious reasons wedding planning hasn’t quite happened yet. It’s next on the to-do list however and we can’t wait for a proper celebration with our friends and family after so long waiting!