Although this might sound a little twee, both events brought home to me what a sharing community the world of Financial Planning is. Yes, we are all there to develop ourselves and our businesses, but it’s also clear that there is an overriding desire to promote Financial Planning as a profession, to encourage people into the profession, to help others in the profession improve themselves and their businesses, and all with the overriding objective of getting more people to be able to benefit from the process of Financial Planning.
As Financial Planners, we know the benefits of financial planning (over “product pushing” and product oriented financial advice), but the more people we can encourage and help to provide this service, the more widely acknowledged it will become. Hopefully more people will then be able to benefit from the process of financial planning, having clear strategies as to how they achieve their objectives and understanding the reasons for their financial decisions, as opposed to just collecting products.
Martin Bamford wrote last month about why he’s changed his mind about Financial Planning events. He’s right when he talks about it being a tough sell to get him along to listen to uninspiring speakers and I think we’ve all had enough of provider pitches. But, other events seem to get the absolute right mix of content and networking opportunities.
Some might argue that we are sitting in a room of competitors, and maybe we are? But it really is quite inspiring to see how willing people are to share their experiences, good and bad, and ideas that others might benefit from.
At the session this week, we asked everyone to bring their three best ideas from their businesses, no guidelines were given and it could be on any subject. So, we discussed matters as wide as:
• Friday afternoons off
• phone systems, portals
• lots of useful IT tools
• visuals to help with client communications
• the need to be sure to always adding value
• making it real – case studies and examples of work to show clients what they can expect
• investing in staff and many, many more
Discussion around the room was animated and, sadly, we didn’t get to all the ideas, but that’s just given us content for one of the meetings next year. And with all the book recommendations, my shelves will soon be collapsing under the weight!
Nicola Watts APFS Chartered Financial Planner, Chartered Wealth Manager, CFPTM Chartered FSCI - director of Jane Smith Financial Planning
After joining the family business in 2000, Nicola qualified to provide advice in 2001, and has been a director of the business since 2006. Since the retirement of her mother (Jane Smith), Nicola bears sole responsibility for the management of the firm, and the advice provided to clients. Nicola is married to David and has two young children, Emily and Olivia, and Poppy the black labrador.