A lack of available and suitably skilled Paraplanners has become a prominent and recurring theme in the sector in recent times, with demand outstripping supply.
Joanna Hague CFPCM, who became the 1,000th Certified Financial PlannerCM Professional to be practicing in the UK last year, believes companies should train their own.
Ms Hague, a Paraplanner at Investment For Life, writing for the latest Financial Planner magazine, said: “I want to encourage you to stop looking for the all singing, all dancing highly qualified person that possibly doesn’t exist for you yet and to start looking toward graduate students and apprentices. Find the people who you could help to blossom in this profession and in return, they are likely to help your company blossom too.”
When she started six years ago, she was mentored by an established Financial Planner. She studied for her first few exams while working full time elsewhere before being offered a role within the company.
Ms Hague, who won the Tony Sellon Good Egg IFP Award in 2014, said: “It took time. But after the steep learning curve of the first year or so, I started to develop the experience to challenge what I was seeing – to be able to near enough build the financial plan myself before the planner needed to make his final amendments and to help develop the in-house planning tools to take account of changes in legislation and improve their usability and accuracy.”
Ms Hague said: “There are other hard working people out there who are keen to seek an entryway to our profession. Some potential candidates have never really heard of Paraplanning, yet they have already embarked on the path towards their Diplomas.
“These people are just like I was six years ago – keen to learn, eager to prove their value to a Financial Planning company and have the potential to make positive changes to your business once they have their feet under the table.”
IFP board member Richard Allum CFPCM has said that Paraplanning is crying out for new blood, as demand for Paraplanners outstrips supply, and with significant numbers intending to move into Financial Planner roles.
Alan Gow APP, co-founder of the Paraplanner Powwow Down South, said last week Paraplanners must get into schools and colleges to attract the young people that the profession needs.
He said they must “start shouting more widely about what we do”.