It was a pleasure to be at the conference for the first time this year. Now in its fifth year this is an excellent opportunity to network with other Paraplanners and learn new things. The event is put together by the Institute of Financial Planning and combines a strong technical focus with practical skills sessions.
This year included an afternoon pre-conference workshop equipping us to be able to support our Financial Planners when they advise on Pensions on Divorce. There were two excellent presentations from John Dunn (James Hay Partnership) and Paul Cobley CFPCM (Oak Barn Financial Planning) covering the options, advantages, and disadvantages. The day concluded with Dinner and fun activities led by Richard Allum (The Paraplanners).
I had the honour of giving an address at the start of the main conference in my capacity as Paraplanner of the Year 2014. The IFP offer great support for paraplanners and I gave some examples of how I had benefitted from being a member so far. I also retold my journey through the Paraplanner of the Year competition and highlighted some of the positive experiences involved.
The main conference included a great session from Rory Percival (Financial Conduct Authority) and Melony Holman CFPCM (Compliance & Training Solutions) looking at what should/shouldn’t be in a suitability report. There is an excellent writeup here http://adviserbusinessreview.com/suitability-reports-percival-clarifies-regulator-expects/ if you are interested.
There are more details about the other sessions on the IFP website or you can look at the program. The final session of the day was a presentation from David McCandless who describes himself as a data journalist and information designer. He takes ‘big data’ and produces impressive infographics which help us to understand the patterns, themes, and relationship between things. He has an excellent website with some of his projects on (and a few books on Amazon).
It was a great couple of days and I really enjoyed meeting with lots of like minded Paraplanners. I think that the image above from Jane Holt (Mckenzie Financial Planning) sums it up well!
If you were there, please feel free to comment below and let me know how you found it. What were your favourite sessions?