1. Raising further awareness of the need for more females in Financial Planning
With the demographic of the typical client changing, meaning more women are seeking Financial Planning, it is important that the Financial Planning industry mirrors this. Whilst it can be frustrating for some to see women only Financial Planning awards, we need to recognise the achievements of women who are striving for change.
2. Ensuring there is a next generation aware of Financial Planning as a potential career choice
The Financial Planning industry is facing an increasing threat, as many planners will soon be retiring, leaving client banks unattended. We therefore need to ensure that the next generation is aware of financial planning as a career choice – whether it be the administration support, Paraplanning or Financial Planners.
3. The rise of Paraplanning as a recognised career
As a Paraplanner, if someone asks what I do for a career, it often leads to them thinking I either work in law or jump out of planes on a daily basis. Neither of which is true of course. Paraplanning comes in all shapes as sizes, and the role can vary dramatically. It can either be a stepping stone to becoming a planner or a lifelong career – both equally valid choices.
4. Improvements in technology
Cashflow planning is a great tool, which can be very powerful with clients. Given the vast array of assumptions and market changes, it always needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. We need more tools like this going forward to ensure our clients fully understand their financial future and integration with our back office software too.
5. Making more progress to plug the advice gap
Financial planning week goes some way to helping those who are unable to afford financial advice, but more still needs to be done here. Perhaps this is where digital or “robo” advice will come in – through democratising advice and giving more people access to a much needed service. In addition, perhaps more could be done with charities such as Citizen’s advice to ensure everyone has somewhere they can turn to for support.
6. Providers to be held to account for poor efficiency
There are many gripes I have with providers and we’ve all been there, sending off a letter of authority, only for the provider to tell us it will be 15 working days before a response will be sent and when you receive the information, there are gaps. Defined benefit pension providers who take equally long to return information, leaving little time to give the advice to the client before the guarantee runs out. Being asked for the wet signature. Or my personal favourite “can you fax that across?” It’s 2018 things need to be different in 2019 to ensure the best outcomes for our clients.
7. Financial education
This year the Personal Finance Society introduced the “Education Champions” initiative. Where Financial Planning professionals go into schools with the Discover Fortunes board game, which is designed to inspire students to consider a career in Financial Planning and learn about the range of opportunities that exist.
8. Changing view of the industry
Historically the view of Financial Planners has not been particularly positive, but I believe this is now changing as we work together as an industry to improve the culture and improve trust of our clients and the general public. 2012 saw the retail distribution review (RDR) set the ball rolling, but I’d like to see more of this in 2019, forgetting the mis-selling scandals of the past so that holistic financial planning is understood and valued.
Chloe Moran is a Senior Paraplanner at 1825