When I started in stockbroking in 1978, I lived half a mile from the office and the stock market did not open until 9.30am, so a 9am departure for work was the norm. Maybe that was something that attracted me to the industry.
No such luck these days. A 6.30am alarm call and a 30-mile commute up the M90 from my home in Dunfermline to my office in Perth sees me at my desk for 8am.
My list of early morning tasks include checking how the market has opened, looking out for any early morning stock market announcements, and going through my emails.
By 9am, I will have had a look at my discretionary portfolios. This prepares me for a 9.30am meeting with my business partner Simeon Laing, in which we discuss what we might be buying and selling that day and any other office issues that need to be addressed.
10.30am will see me phoning a client who is due a Know Your Client update. It is very important that we are up to speed with our clients’ financial situations, and we formally update their positions online every year or so.
By 11am, I might be preparing a six-monthly review letter for one of my advisory clients. It’s an important communication, which is part of our managed service.
Sometimes at 12.30pm, I’ll head out to a Rotary Club lunch. I have been in Rotary for the past 15 years and, notwithstanding the charity work that is involved, it is an ideal opportunity to network with potential and actual business contacts (and I also get fed!).
I’ll be back in the office for 2pm to prepare for a potential new client who is coming in to see me in half an hour.
This client has an advisory account with one of our rivals worth about half a million pounds, but he is not happy because they are threatening to withdraw the Crest Sponsored Membership facility.
The client wants to keep his name on the register and was pleased when he phoned up and I told him that we could offer that facility. We have a good meeting and it looks as though he is going to transfer his account over to us.
At 3.30pm, we have a brief office meeting with Simeon and myself, and our colleagues Lorraine Laird and Susan Watt, to discuss the guest list for an upcoming client drinks party we are arranging.
There have been a few celebrations for the firm lately – including an event held recently in honour of the 140th anniversary of the firm’s foundation in 1875.
Redmayne-Bentley is still very happy to do execution-only business and at 4.15pm, before the markets close, someone who used to work in the local SSE (formerly Scottish and Southern Energy) office might come in clutching a share certificate for 200 SSE shares they are looking to dispose of. They will be given the same courtesy as the £500k client was earlier.
At 5pm, I head back down the road to have a meal with my partner, Anona.
If daylight allows, I might then head out to the golf course for a quick nine holes to clear my head, before returning home for a glass of red wine, a quick check on how Wall Street is closing, and then off to bed before it all starts over again.
Having been in the business for nigh on four decades and having seen the change from late starts to early starts, liquid lunches to dry lunches, and typewriters and day books to computerised systems and trading, I am long enough in the tooth to realise that you never really know what the next day might bring.