The Wealth & Tax Story
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I’m Tony Byrne: company founder; passionate about the benefits of great financial planning; proud of the team I now lead
I was born and bred in the East End of London. My mother was a dress maker and my father was a building site labourer. My parents literally lived from hand to mouth. I didn’t know it at the time but we were poor. Poor in money but rich in love. My father had a gambling addiction for many years. It was a struggle for my mother to make ends meet. Fortunately she was very good with money. She managed to save small amounts of money on a regular basis. She had to hide the cash from my father!
I never forgot one day when I was about 11 my mother and I had just set off on a long walk of about 3 miles to the supermarket carrying the shopping bags when she discovered a £5 note on the ground near the bus stop. This was in 1970 when £5 was like £50 today! Much to my dismay my mother decided to pocket the cash and not catch the bus but instead she started marching off on foot! I had no choice other than to follow her.
Although I was unhappy with her behaviour at the time when I grew up and finally learned about my father’s gambling habits it dawned on me that far from being mean with money she was being very disciplined financially. She resisted the temptation to spend the windfall. It was one of my earliest financial lessons in life. The art of delayed gratification.
Gradually over the years my mother saved more and more money until eventually my parents were able to buy their first home when my mother was 50 and my father 60. They bought their council house with a 60% discount under the Right To Buy Scheme. It was the only way they could ever have bought a house.
I turned down the offer of a University place at Durham University in 1977 after getting good A level grades having decided that academia wasn’t for me. After a few years I embarked on a career in accountancy which later led to my interest in financial planning when I started to appreciate the skills of financial planning from my then tax manager at Grant Thornton who doubled up his role as financial planning manager too.
I had never really enjoyed being an accountant. Maybe it was the Monty Python jokes about accountants in the seventies or maybe it was simply true that accountancy for me was boring. I got fed up with recording history. I wanted to make history instead! Thus began my love affair with financial planning.
I had always wanted to be my own boss so after working for a few more years as a tax specialist for Touche Ross (now known as Deloittes) I finally took the plunge and started my very own business Wealth And Tax Management specialising in personal financial planning and tax planning.
I started my business in an 88 square feet back bedroom which only had room for one desk, 2 filing cabinets, a large printer and a computer. I took on my first part-time secretary after a few months and within 2 years we got our first office space renting a section of an office from my neighbour’s start up business. We eventually rented our own offices and now own our own offices. The business has grown. We are approaching £100 million of funds under management and our associated company Minerva Money Management plans to launch its first fund in 2018 called The Intelligent Wealth Fund.
In addition to our face to face financial planning service we will shortly launch our first virtual advice and robo, or digital advice, service soon. We believe that offering various advice options to clients improves our service and caters for our clients’ different needs.
We’re very excited about the future. Wealth And Tax Management is a fast growing and successful firm of Chartered Financial Planners with very ambitious plans for expansion. We look forward to the future with great confidence.
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