The third Personal Finance Society Expert Planning Panel meeting took place this week. The PFS Panel was put together with the aim of promoting good financial planning practice in the UK, and ultimately helping clients to achieve financial success in life, whatever that looks like. It’s fantastic to be involved with such a great group of financial planners, and if we can help move the profession forward in any way, then I’ll be delighted to play a small part in that.
— Anthony Villis, Managing Partner
The general health of the financial planning profession is important to all of us and we started off with a lively conversation about how the PFS is working with our regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to help improve consumer outcomes.
Two big stories have dominated the financial press in recent months; British Steel Works defined benefit pension transfer advice and phoenixing (the entirely dubious activity where an adviser winds up their business, often following a series of client complaints, and then sets up again under a new flag, often to go on to give more dreadful advice). Both of these issues inevitably lead to a fall in consumer confidence, which undermines so much of the great work that is going on in financial planning firms across the UK. It’s encouraging therefore to know that professional bodies such as the PFS are lobbying the regulator for changes that will have a positive impact on the advice profession.
Fully aware that this is happening, it’s equally surprising and disappointing that the FCA has allowed this to continue for so long. I was reminded of Jarvis Cocker’s iconic lyric in Common People, ‘with one call, they could end it all’. One strike and you’re out, simple and effective. Come on FCA, what are you waiting for!
The main focus of this quarters meeting was to look at the various content channels we’re creating, to help share our experiences with the 38,000 PFS members.
The PFS have organised an exciting event on 5 June, Power Live which looks to the future of financial planning in the UK and the evolution the profession is going through. It’s one of the first paid for events that the PFS will run, and the plan is to hold similar six-monthly events to help create a community of like-minded individuals and best practice within the profession. The live event builds on the Power Guide which we launched at the end of 2017 and has proved very successful, with 2,000 hard copies distributed, and similar downloads.
The content looks really great, and I am excited that Mitch Anthony is coming over from the U.S to deliver the key note speech on the day. Mitch spoke at the Back2Y Conference organised by Paul Armson last year and has been influential in the evolution of First Wealth. Mitch has moved the conversation on from return on investment (ROI), to return on life (ROL). His idea is that money is ultimately a conduit to help you live the best possible life for yourself and your family. To quote Mitch, “successful long-term relationships succeed when we concentrate on how we make our clients feel”. Never has a truer word been spoken! Investment returns are not irrelevant by any means, but perhaps life should be measured against a benchmark of happiness, rather than percentage return on your portfolio. Powerful stuff, and I’m really looking forward to hearing more from Mitch in June.
I’m also looking forward to talking at the Power Live event, my title is ‘Behavioural Finance – Beyond The Theory’. Building on the recent blogs we have written with Professor Brett Kahr, we have now produced an eBook on Behavioural Finance.
Behavioural finance deals with the fact that human beings are predisposed to make bad financial decisions. It’s a fascinating subject and one that has so many practical applications to the work we do day to day as financial planners. It’s always a privilege to share the stand with the mighty Andy Hart, who will also be talking about behavioural aspects of planning, with his talk titled ‘Humans Under Management’.
First Wealth is fully committed to the evolution of financial planning in the UK and I’ll provide a further update of the PFS Panels work following the Power Live event.
This article does not constitute advice. Anyone considering any form of financial planning should seek independent financial advice. First Wealth LLP is an appointed representative of Best Practice which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You should note that the FCA does not regulate tax advice.
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