Financial Planning Week

Its that time of year when members of the IFP (Institute of Financial Planning) open their doors or put on events, pitch up to radio stations to discuss matters of financial planning for the week. This is really an opportunity to ask questions and gain better understanding of the financial planning process.fPW14

I was somewhat pleased to see a faily favourable item in a national newspaper that was expressing the view that financial planning is worth paying for, even though it may seem expensive. One of the great problems within the system is one of cost and it may not surprise you to learn that most financial planners work with a very select group of clients, who make up a tiny fraction of the overall population. There are around 20,000 financial advisers, of which only 2,000 are members of the IFP (as I myself am).

The IFP would certainly welcome and encourage as many as possible of the remaining 18,000 to become financial planners. That’s not to say that the other 18,000 aren’t doing a good job, but its probable that they aren’t doing financial planning, but rather providing good (hopefully) financial advice – which tends to be rather more reduced to a particular issue of focus – such as “arranging a pension” or “making an investment”. All good things, but not necessarily financial planning, which involves planning all of your finances around all of your life, now and into the future, ensuring that your money doesn run out before you.

One of the hot topics at the moment is that of pensions. The once dull-as-dishwater pension plan has now been given a new lease of life thanks to the Chancellor. It would be a masterful understatement to say that anyone with an investment based pension now has more options to think about. However, for some people reviewing the decisions made is also going to be pretty vital to ensure the very best arrangements. Here is a very short video from the IFP for those not yet retired – there is some sound.

Dominic Thomas