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Get planning up to par

The IFP runs one non-financial planning-related event in its calendar. The annual golf day, sponsored by Old Mutual, took place recently and attrac-ted 60 people.

Golf is a sport that draws together people of varying abilities but, due to the handicap system, provides everybody with an equal chance of winning.

One of the areas that the IFP will be focusing on, with the emergence of a larger number of certified financial planner professionals, is the gathering of some more meaningful information on the community.

Recent conversations with firms active in the buying and selling of businesses have revealed that IFA practices have little available information on the assets under management or influence attached to their business.

It means that in many cases, businesses are significantly undervaluing themselves – demonstrating why firms have to seek more professional support with the transition or simple evolution of their business.

Much seems to happen upside down in the UK market, with a lot of guessing by the suppliers in terms of product delivery and support. With a full understanding of the financial planning business, products and technology can be designed to better fit the needs of the market.

As everybody starts to go wrap and tool-crazy, the main constituents need to be brought together to deliver some more meaningful solutions. For most people, the key area to consider is how to deliver a proper financial planning service in a time-frame that does not leave the IFA broke.

The recent Money Marketing Live event discussed the future of the IFA. Simon Chamberlain, from Thinc Destini, covered the key areas where the traditional networks and other national firms have been hamstrung. Some of these businesses are in decline, and, as demonstrated at the conference, not prepared or able to set out how they are going to turn themselves around.

Too much money floats around in the financial services sector, with not enough being spent in the right areas.

IFAs of all sizes need help with business planning. The IFP Transition Workshops deal with these issues, and the IFP community contains the expertise to support advisers in this transition.

The IFP is working on a job analysis programme that will deliver the competencies of the professional financial planner. This will be built from working with a number of planners from within the market to ensure consistency and will look at the core components already established around the world through the CFP certification programme.

This competency analysis will be the basis for the curriculum at universities, where the next generation of financial planners will emerge.

The golf day demonstrated that if you can get the right calibre of people from the different components of the market, everybody will start to become better informed and build better solutions.

For some, sadly, a lot more time will be needed to show any competence on the golf course but a great day was had by all and we even managed to have some fun.

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