It’s my first year as host and I wasn’t sure if it would feel the same as it has in the past, when hosted so brilliantly by Richard Allum. It’s fair to say I was a bit worried; would I be up to the job given how well loved the Powwow is?
I needn’t have worried though; the friendly, relaxed atmosphere of the Powwow was the same. The enthusiasm of everyone there and the passion for the role they do was the same, in fact it felt just as warm, welcoming and fun as it has always been, and the reason why it is still my and many others’ favourite event of the year.
But the Powwow is not all about a load of Paraplanners having a jolly in a field. The content is second to none and because it’s put together by Paraplanners for Paraplanners, it always hits the mark perfectly. The attendees are asked beforehand, what they would like to learn, what they are struggling with and how can we help. It’s therefore perfectly tailored to exactly what they want.
This year we had some great subjects; on the technical side, we had effective tax planning, ethical investing and risk profiling. We also had report writing tips and practical hints and ideas from other Paraplanners to help you do the day job. On the soft skills side, we had influencing change back in the office so Paraplanners can put all the good ideas they have learned into practice.
Our Guru for the day was the brilliant Justin Urqhart-Stewart of 7IM. In his unique style, the subject of world politics and economics was explained beautifully – accessible, understandable and downright hilarious to boot; in fact, perfect for the Powwow.
Because that’s what’s so wonderful about the Powwow, yes it’s quirky, it’s fun and a little bit silly at times, but the people who go are serious about wanting to learn, develop and improve what they do. They do this by talking and sharing what they know with others in a fun, friendly environment with heaps of sweets into the bargain – all good things in my book.
But that’s not it for another year, there are more mini Powwows planned and some really good Howwows in the pipeline so plenty to look forward to and learn from, and opportunities to meet with fellow Paraplanners.
Based on what I saw and the people I met, Paraplanning will go from strength to strength and the future of the profession is in very safe hands, we just need a few more of them. Me personally, I’m looking forward to getting stuck into more events and hopefully getting to tell more people about this fun, challenging and rewarding career.
Finally, a huge thank you and high five to our wonderful sponsors, James Hay, Just, AEGON, Aviva, Transact and 7IM who always come along, get stuck in and without whom we couldn’t have this fantastic even
Caroline Stuart FPFS, is a Chartered Financial Planner and head of technical at Financial Planning firm DB Wood in Newark. She was host of this year's Paraplanner Powwow 'unconference' which took place in Northants recently
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