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Regardless of a client’s personal circumstances, they are likely to have concerns about their financial future.  As such, when clients seek financial advice for the first time, often their primary focus is on receiving guidance on how to invest money wisely, ensuring they get good returns for years to come.

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Robo-advisers are encroaching on IFAs more than ever before. How? By complementing their algorithms with human advisers. 

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“There is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to improve its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition, without deception or fraud.” [Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom, 1962.] How things have changed!

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What exactly is the purpose of Financial Planning? How do we represent it to the public? Why should they feel compelled to engage and pay fees for it? What is the value? I’m not going to go deeply philosophical on you – don’t worry! But what is it that we do? What purpose – economic, social, or other – do we serve? If we aren’t clear in our own minds how can we help clients to realise the importance of what we do.

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After celebrating 23 years in Financial Planning this year, I realise there are some clients who you just get along with, you hit it off on day one and as far as you’re concerned, life is good. However, I am sure there are others who you struggle to really get to know? You just don’t have that same connection with! You could be speaking in different languages. Maybe you are?


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Last week I attended the CISI Financial Planning Annual Conference and this week, as part of my duties as branch president of our local CISI branch, I was delighted to help in the hosting of a round-table discussion.

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After 24 years in business at one location, we recently made the decision to open a second office in a different town. This expansion was several years in the making, with the timing now right by virtue of a number of factors.

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I went to a financial seminar recently and on returning to the car park at the end of the day, the number of fancy cars got me thinking about measuring success and whether the Financial Planning community is as bad at coveting material things to demonstrate success, as some of our clients are.

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I am always impressed by how much Financial Planners do year round to help consumers. They give up free time and sometimes work time to help consumers understand the benefits of Financial Planning in its widest sense on a pro bono basis and, indeed, many give up their time and often their cash to volunteer in their local communities. It's a generous profession.

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I have just been giving a presentation on intergenerational planning in using SIPPs and SSAS and as ever I am in awe of what can be achieved using a pension these days.

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