But as weary Paraplanners settle back into the office routine after another annual Powwow shindig this week, which did take place in a giant teepee in Northants with people wearing warpaint (at least some of them), I think we should stand back and applaud their enthusiasm and energy in taking part and hail the chief, Richard Allum, the instigator of the whole thing.
There is no doubt that despite the sceptics, including me, and despite the odds, the Paraplanner Powwow movement has come of age and is now a real force in Paraplanning.
The Powwow movement is perhaps one of the most encouraging thing to happen to Paraplanning over the past decade.
It is different, it is technical and it is motivated by the desire and enthusiasm of Paraplanners to build their professional knowledge and do a better job for clients and their Financial Planning firms, much of it in their own time.
The Powww movement has spawned a whole series of spin offs including mini-conferences - Powwow Down South and the like. There are also online seminars called Howwows and a whole plethora of online learning and assistance covering everything from report writing to due diligence.
Put simply the Powwows are making Paraplanning better.
The annual Powwow event in a giant teepee has sold out for the last seven years and attracts a range of top speakers, both Paraplanners and industry experts. There is sponsorship but it is relatively low key and the Paraplanners choose much of the agenda themselves.
The emphasis is on learning but also having fun too, clearly a winning combination and often forgotten at professional events. We are human after all - anyone for a quiz with a few beers?
Richard Allum of The Paraplanners deserves much of the credit for the success of the Powwows, which he’s nurtured like a baby but never tried to dominate. He’s had a small army of helpful and enthusiastic volunteers including Caroline Stuart and others to help him on the way.
There have been many other laudable initiatives in Paraplanning, particularly from the professional bodies who have added qualificiations and Paraplanning forums and groups, but there is nothing quite like the Powwows and long may that be the case.
• For more on the Powwows click here: https://paraplannerspowwow.co.uk/
Kevin O’Donnell is editor of Financial Planning Today and a financial journalist with 30 years experience. This topical comment on the Financial Planning news appears most weeks.