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Change brings opportunity

With the Pickering and Sandler reviews of pensions and long-term savings recently released and the expectation that the FSA will endorse the proposals, a period of uncertainty lies ahead.

I read a lot of doom and gloom in the trade press but it is my view and experience that with most change there is usually opportunity.

Up to 6,000 advisers could get themselves certified. They are the 8 per cent or so of UK financial advisers who have sufficient AFPC (or similar) qualifications that would enable them to join a small band of some 230 professional financial planners.

These UK professional financial planners are members of the IFP and have qualified as certified financial planners.

Although there are only around 230 certified financial planners currently in the UK, there are some 70,000 world-wide, mainly in the US, Australia and South Africa. Financial planners help their clients determine how to achieve their financial and lifestyle goals through the proper management of financial resources.

To do this, they must identify their client&#39s present position, their objectives and the best way to achieve those objectives.

Providing a structured financial planning service will enable better-qualified advisers to move their client portfolios from an undoubtedly reducing commission basis to a known and recurring fee basis.

Two years ago, I attended the IFP conference and it has significantly improved the way we work and are able to help our clients.

This year&#39s conference is being held at the International Conference Centre in Telford and is being run over three days from September 18-20.

I strongly recommend appropriately qualified advisers to attend this conference if they want to take advantage of the opportunities which lie ahead as a result of the changes taking place in our marketplace.

If you are interested in getting yourself certified, you should contact Nick Cann at the IFP on 0117 945 2470.

Ian O&#39Connor

Alliotts,

Canterbury House,

Croydon

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