Firms are taking on more clients and staff and expect there to be more Financial Planners and Paraplanners in the future, according to the results of Financial Planning Today’s annual survey, which appear in full in the latest issue of the magazine here.
Close to three quarters – a whopping 72.3% - of respondents reported boosting their client numbers.
The increase was greater than that recorded 12 months ago in our last survey when 69.4% said they had taken on more clients.
At the other end of the spectrum this year just 3.6% reported that they had fewer clients than the previous year, down from 4.1% in 2018’s poll.
It is growth which has been seen by Julie Lord, Certified and Chartered Financial Planner and Chartered Wealth Manager, at her firm Magenta Financial Planning.
The chief executive said: “People are becoming more interested in planning for a bright future and taking responsibility for themselves as no one else will or can.
“New clients need more staff to look after them.”
Martin Bamford FPFS, Chartered Financial Planner, managing director of Informed Choice, agreed.
He said: “We’ve also experienced a rising number of clients and staff in recent years.
“With the post-war baby boomer generation reaching retirement, and relatively limited supply of Financial Planning services in the market, it’s natural that client numbers will increase.
Maintaining sufficient capacity to manage this growth is important.
“There’s a shortage of highly qualified, suitably experienced Paraplanners currently.
“In our experience, Financial Planners have the scope to look after more clients, as long as they can put sufficient resources in place in support.”
On staffing the survey revealed more than 40% (40.8%) had taken on more employees than 12 months ago, with 7.9% taking on 20% more.
Meanwhile 50% of Financial Planning firms kept the same number with less than 10% reducing their staff numbers.
The figures paint a rosy picture for growth in general and when compared with last year’s results.
In our previous survey 37.2% had taken on more employees than the previous year, 53.5% had the same number, however a lower figure (9.3%) had let staff go.
In terms of specialist roles the survey showed half of all respondents planned to employ more Financial Planners and Paraplanners in the next two years, with just over a third saying they expected the number to stay the same.
Last year just under 48% said they expected to take on more, representing an uptick of confidence of more than 2% in a year.
Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society (PFS), put the growth down to increased demand and more qualified professionals.
He said: “The profession has every reason to be optimistic about the future as the need and demand for Financial Planning is already evident and set to increase in the future.”
This is an edited portion of the feature, which can be read in full for free here.