Advisers around the country are offering free surgeries and producing videos and podcasts to help raise awareness of financial planning as part of a week-long national campaign.
Financial Planning Week, the Institute of Financial Planning’s annual consumer awareness campaign, kicked off on Sunday.
The initiative is now in its seventh year and aims to encourage consumers to take control of and plan their finances, as well as raise awareness of the financial planning profession.
Over 60 advice firms are offering drop-in sessions to the public for free as part of the campaign.
IFP communications director Sue Whitbread says: “We’re delighted to be in a position to offer consumers around the UK the opportunity to discuss their financial situation with an expert and hope that as many people as possible take advantage of these free financial planning surgeries, so that we are not just raising awareness of the importance of planning but providing practical support to consumers.
“This year we’re particularly pleased to have near-national coverage.”
For the first time one firm, Smart Financial Planning, is offering surgeries via Skype.
Managing director Steve Martin says: “I split my time between the UK and Spain but didn’t want that to rule us out of supporting this worthwhile initiative and being able to give consumers the opportunity to talk to us to get a first-hand insight into the benefits that financial planning can offer.
“Added to that, in today’s busy world it may be more convenient for people to speak to us from the comfort of their home or workplace. This is something different we can offer.”
The firm has also produced five podcasts explaining the financial planning process and its benefits.
Principal Financial Solutions director Chris Daems has produced a series of animated videos on financial planning for the campaign.
He says: “Financial planning week is a fantastic way of sharing expert financial knowledge, extolling the benefits of financial planning and enhancing public awareness of the value working with a financial planner can add.”
Informed Choice is launching its feature-length documentary on the financial planning challenges for the baby boomer generation, Boom!, with screenings hosted by advisers and providers at 10 venues around the UK this week.
The firm is also producing a podcast which addresses issues such as how to find a financial planner.
Informed Choice managing director Martin Bamford says: “The pop-up screenings bring something new and different to this year’s Financial Planning Week.
“I’m grateful to the firms which are hosting their own screenings of the movie, to share it with the widest possible audience. The documentary examines a range of financial and non-financial issues everyone needs to consider as they approach retirement, especially now we are all living for so much longer.”
A number of advisers including Forty Two Wealth Management partner Alan Dick, and MFP Wealth Management managing director Justin King, are also speaking on local radio programmes to promote Financial Planning Week.
The IFP is running a number of initiatives, such as an ‘ask a planner’ facility on its website which allows consumers to get online answers to their money questions, and a Twitter discussion from 1-2pm today.
In addition, the IFP is offering consumers access to a cash flow modelling tool, Truth Lite, developed by Prestwood.