Back in 2006 Simon left the cosy employment world of a salary, bonus, pension, car allowance to go self-employed. He signed up with Positive Solutions and started trading as The Lost Coin. A number of his former clients followed him and still remain with his business to this day. It certainly was not easy in those early days, with three young children and a large mortgage.
Simon chose to operate his business using a fixed fee model rather than the more typical percentage of assets or hourly rate models that he had worked in the past. This proved a wise choice, as stock markets plummeted almost 50% between June 2007 and March 2009. During that time his colleagues struggled with declining incomes whilst his own business flourished.
In 2008 he felt prompted to move their family and the business to the South West, having lived around the Midlands all his life. Almost every client stayed and Simon became used to long productive days visiting clients in the wider Northamptonshire area. After a failed merger in 2009 he continued to grow the business through his colleagues at Positive Solutions and local accountancy and legal connections.
The scrapping of pension and investment commissions from 2013 did not present the business with any problems due to their fixed fee model. However, with changes to the ownership of Positive Solutions and the shift towards restricted advisers it was time to move on.
Having grown the business Simon liked the idea of operating as a limited company so that he could align the business to those of his key clients and better understand the issues they face. He soon found a new home with award winning Sense Network who are committed to supporting independent financial advisers and have the latest technology. And so, in late 2014 The Lost Coin Financial Planning Ltd was established. The route to authorisation took longer than expected so the new company started trading in Autumn 2015. Within a few months all the regular fee-paying clients had moved over and the business has continued to grow to this day.
Meet the team
- Simon Carlin – BA DipPFS DipPMIDirector | Financial Planner | IFA
- Heidi Carlin – BACompany Secretary | Marketing Assistant
Simon Carlin – BA DipPFS DipPMI
Simon has 30 years experience in financial services and so is highly skilled in his profession. He provides independent financial planning advice to business owners and professionals on their plans for life beyond work. Using cash flow tools he helps clients to see what they can achieve. He then adapts their pensions, savings and investments as required. This often includes investing for social, environmental and ethical concerns. Most clients have an annual meeting so they can amend their plans to reflect life’s changes.
- 3 A levels in Economics, Latin and Maths
- BA degree in Economics
- Diploma from Chartered Insurance Institute
- Diploma from Pensions Management Institute
Financial Services experience
After A levels Simon took a gap year to work for Royal Insurance in their motor claims team. He then moved to Nottingham to study Economics. Three years later he passed an exam to join Inland Revenue Pension Schemes Office. In the next 4 years he bought his first house, married Heidi and moved to KPMG in Birmingham.
Whilst a trainee pension consultant, he studied with the Pensions Management Institute and the Chartered Insurance Institute. Over those 5 years he also became a dad to 3 special children. And so, with a growing family, it was time to move to a larger home. Simon was headhunted for a financial adviser role at Grant Thornton in Northampton. This widened his experience beyond pensions and enabled a move to Wellingborough. After a couple of years he left to join a smaller firm Moore Stephens. Whilst there he sat more exams to obtain a Diploma in Financial Planning.
Later that same year Simon set up his own business from home called The Lost Coin. He soon moved out to a shared office in a local accountancy practice. In 2009 Simon and Heidi moved south to help Heidi’s parents. The business continued with a new home office. Then in 2012 Simon obtained a Diploma from the Pensions Management Institute. More recently in 2014 he formed a limited company to grow the business further.
Outside of Work
Simon is a Trustee and Treasurer of a local charity, Zion United Church. On a Friday night he walks around the village with Heidi, as part of Zion Street Space. This is a recent youth outreach project.
Simon and Heidi have lived in Frampton Cotterell for ten years, seeing all three children through the same senior school. Their two daughters are away, studying for a Degree in Children’s Nursing, and their son is at home studying for a Diploma in Sound Engineering.
Heidi Carlin – BA
Heidi has assisted Simon in his business since the start of The Lost Coin in 2006. Her creative skills are a welcome asset to the business. Heidi is the driving force behind the business’ marketing, in both designing exhibition stands and engaging clients. Also she is quietly in charge of client relations, making birthday cards by hand and ensuring they are posted on time.
Heidi is studying Pioneer Ministry, with a focus on children and families. She also works for The Ark Bus as a Community Worker, reflecting her passion for the community.
Sound, clear and timely financial advice
Simon has been our family financial adviser for the past three years. During that time he has provided sound, clear and timely financial advice. He researched the optimum personal pension for me; one that was the envy of many of my colleagues as it included salary sacrifice and was tax efficient. After listening to our needs carefully, he applied his comprehensive understanding of pensions, and the wider financial system, to provide detailed personal advice. He has a solid Christian faith and this underpins his whole ethos and business. I am very happy with his service and believe he offers value for money. Both my wife and I trust him implicitly and regularly recommend him to our family, friends and work colleagues.
Simon made it very easy and beneficial for us all
I would recommend Simon to anyone who needed pension help or advice. From day one he was very quick to respond to any questions or queries in respect of my private pension, which I chose to release due to ill health. I was very nervous about
making the right choices for my family and I and Simon made it a very easy and beneficial for us all. I really fell that the advice he gave was true and honest
One very important factor for me is that he engenders a sense of trust
Comparing Simon to my previous adviser, one very important factor for me is that he engenders a sense of trust and backs this up with actions that shows the trust was well founded. He’s open about costs, talks sensibly about the relative merits of the options on the table and is prompt in meeting his commitments. One particular area of expertise that was of value to me was his knowledge of ethical investments.
He has helped set up a pension scheme for one of my top clients
Simon gives creative and extremely practical advice on pensions . He has helped set up a pension scheme for one of my top clients. Both my client and I are very pleased with the results. If you have a problem on company pensions than I strongly suggest that you contact Simon.
Would happily recommend Simon to any one.
Mr Simon Carlin was very helpful in sorting out my ex company pension with a good end result would happily recommend him to any one.