Advisers across the country have been offering free surgeries and working with local and national media as part of the Institute of Financial Planning’s annual consumer awareness campaign, Financial Planning Week.
The IFP aims to help consumers improve their knowledge of financial services by focusing on consumer education and engagement during this week and raise awareness about the importance of sound financial planning.
A number of financial planning firms are offering services to the public for free. Derbyshire-based Freedom Financial Planning is teaching classes of 10 and 11-year-olds about the importance of budgets, pensions and savings at Whaley Bridge Primary School.
Freedom financial planner Nick Heys says: “When I was at school we had lessons on numeracy but were not told how to look after money. Just by starting with the basics and teaching children how to manage their pocket money may help society in the future.
“Teaching children money management from an early age may help avoid another financial meltdown.”
Aberdeen-based Money Plan-it has teamed up with local charity, Befriend a Child, to launch an iPad app designed to present lifetime cashflow analysis and engage people in planning for both before and after retirement.
Money Plan-it director Craig Chapman says: “We wanted to introduce something new and exciting to both existing and potential new clients. The feedback we have had so far from those who have experienced the app is extremely positive and many have found it both a fun and informative experience.”
A number of firms across England, Scotland and Wales are running free financial planning surgeries throughout the week designed to give people one-on-one sessions with planners, offering tips and guidance.
Cardiff-based Guardian Wealth certified financial planner Gemma Davies says: “There are a number of firms that have come together across Wales to promote the message the IFP is trying to send. It gives a real satsifaction to us to be able to give something back and help people who have less access to financial advice.”
Jacksons Wealth Management managing director Pete Matthew will be issuing a Financial Planning Week special of his MeaningfulMoney consumer financial education webcasts.
Matthew says: “My goal with MeaningfulMoney is to give people the tools to first understand and then engage with their personal finances. That is why I think Financial Planning Week is a great idea.”
County Durham-based Eldon Financial Planning is recording a series of radio broadcasts highlighting the importance of “financial fitness” which will be aired daily on local radio station, Radio Teesdale.
Eldon chartered financial planner Joss Harwood says: “Financial Planning Week gives us a great opportunity to get information out into the public domain about the importance of financial fitness and financial management. We are putting on a series of six recordings which will go out each day throughout the week.”
IFP chief executive Nick Cann says: “Financial Planning Week is important because not enough consumers are engaged in taking action to ensure better outcomes for themselves. More needs to be done at all levels to raise awareness to help and show what is available.”