Spotlight On … Keith Littlewood - Regional Manager Costa Calida
How / why did you get into your line of work in the financial services sector?
In 1988 a financial adviser from Refuge Assurance encouraged me to start saving money as I had just begun a new job. I said I would like to do what he was doing, so he got me an interview and 34 years later here I am still doing the same thing – helping people with their money.
What is your special interest or particular field of expertise in the financial services sector right now?
Portfolio management and retirement planning. I actively invest for my own retirement which is just around the corner and I employ the same efforts in making my clients’ portfolios grow as much as possible.
What is the most important aspect of your work, in relation to clients, or the part of your day-to-day role which gives you the most satisfaction?
Relationship building and actually getting to know like-minded people. I have been in Spain 10 years now, so helping people who are just moving over to avoid the financial pitfalls and mistakes I have seen happen to others is always satisfying. Being a reliable point of contact for them in other aspects of living abroad other than finances. Having meetings in a very relaxed environment without being rushed is very important. The ability to sit and review a client’s finances by the pool over a drink is priceless, especially after spending long hours in stuffy, dark, banking environments for over 20 years of my working life.
What's special/unique/most interesting about the region you work in?
My clients are mainly retirees who want to make the most of their hard-earned money and enjoy life feeling reassured that I am looking after their best interests. Locally we have the Mar Menor waters and mud pools, which are packed with natural minerals for the skin so that your body can be as healthy as your finances. In the region in which I work and live, there are many beaches where dogs are allowed, which means that I can take my 3 ‘dog children’ to the beach where they can enjoy a frolic in the Sea.
Right now, what is your one piece of invaluable information for expats or anyone seeking retirement planning and wealth management advice?
Do not rush planning your finances. Making large financial decisions is something that should be done in a considered manner. If you are moving to live in a new country, rent initially before you buy a property so that you can explore and find your perfect location. When investing, if you are not 100% sure that you are making the correct decision then get a second opinion – there is never a situation where you should feel pressured into any decision.
Blacktower already has a long and successful history in the sector, how will you and your colleagues continue to offer value to clients in the next 20 years and beyond?
I have been in Spain and with Blacktower for 10 years now, and plan to spend the next 15 years here until I retire. There is an infrastructure within Blacktower that means anyone investing through us now can be looked after for the rest of their life.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
I played in the World Series of Poker Seniors Event (over 50s) in Las Vegas in 2019. I finished in the top 100 of over 6000 entrants!