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Talkin Points

This month has been dominated by the dreadful happenings in London and the announcement of the 2012 Olympics venue.

Meanwhile, the IFP has just hosted the George Kinder two-day workshop on life planning. Kinder is a long-time professional certified financial planner in the US and co-founder of the renowned Kinder Institute. He is an inspirational character and most certainly a leader in this relatively new area of financial planning.

These three events bring me on to the theme of communication and how we all approach this topic with different skills and abilities.

In 24 hours, it was amazing to see jubilation and celebration turn to despair and agony. One email from a board member in France congratulated me on the Olympics with tongue firmly in cheek, then the next moment showed genuine concern as a human being and a father of a daughter in London.

The IFP has connections with at least 24 other countries through the CFP affiliation and the response from our international colleagues was overwhelming. Many of them were swift to offer support for us and whoever might have been affected. They were amazed at the stiff resolve of the British in carrying on as normally as possible. It was certainly touching.

This column has previously looked at financial planning and the importance of the ability to practically apply knowledge.

Really good planners are able to fully engage their clients and extract information so that they can construct meaningful plans that will achieve the client’s goals and objectives. More important for the business, they will extract a greater share of the client’s wallet.

The client needs to fully trust the planner and their ability to make things happen. The CFP has the scope to deliver this service. The support they require is in the form of sessions such as Kinder’s Seven Stages of Money Maturity, where they can address sensitive areas around communication and what is on- or off-limits to discuss with clients.

Many UK delegates were typically reserved and worried about talking about their fears and dreams. What they learnt over the two days was how to use some of their communication skills to get a greater understanding of the client.

To do this, it is crucial to understand yourself as an individual and how personal experiences can be shared and developed.

Life planning is not suitable for all planners but those who have experimented are experiencing exceptional results.

Kinder will be back in the UK in September as part of the Fidelity roadshows. He will also be doing further work with the IFP and building some appropriate seminars for 2006.

Look out for news and don’t be shy – you know it makes sense.

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