Bob Dylan once sang “Don’t criticise what you can’t understand”. This is one reason financial planners and paraplanners have been reading and digesting the recent Budget, to gain understanding of the implications for our clients.
As financial planners we have to know our stuff.
As a client you need the person putting your financial plan together to know the impact of taxes; the ever-changing pension and investing rules and allowances; and which provider is most suitable. You also need your planner to understand YOU; to know the most appropriate solution for your circumstances; to really understand your goals; and ensure the strategy recommended will allow you to sleep well at night. That’s a lot of questions to ask and learning to do.
This was the message I was impressing to students last month when I attended a local school career fair, representing the financial planning profession.
I didn’t have sweets or chocolates on my table like some of the other representatives but I did have a strategically placed £20 note in front of me to attract attention and curiosity and represent working with money. Suffice to say, the strategy worked and I had a steady stream of students to talk with. Once I had their attention I tried to keep it by talking about the ways I have seen financial planning have a positive impact.
After I’d said my piece, the students often wanted to get to the practicalities: what Uni should I go to? Is the studying hard?
The most frequently asked questions were about how to enter the profession, and the exams needed to qualify. I explained that exams certainly are important to start, but even the most qualified adviser needs to keep up with the latest innovations and planning opportunities that come around each year.
With Pension Freedom announcements last April, the surprise Summer Budget last July, the Autumn Statement last November, and most recently the Budget this March, we’ve certainly been kept on our toes as financial planners.
But this should come as no surprise because as this new season of spring (and Bob Dylan) reminds us, the times, they are a-changin’.
Can you add anything to this? Be sure to join the discussion by leaving a comment below this post.
This post was written by Adam, a Financial Services Apprentice (and aspiring financial planner) based in York, UK. Read more here. To follow his progress just put your name and email in the boxes below and join the Financial Planning Academy