There is no end of content to help you become a better Financial Planner

By: Charlotte Wood
Director
Rosewood Financial Planning

I mentioned in my last article that I had learnt more over the last 18 months than I had done in the ten years prior. On reflection, it’s probably even less time than that, more like 10 months. Once I found content that resonated with me, I ran with it and invested significant time and, at times, money to move forward

In this article, I have summarised the various training I have undertaken and resources I have found useful for my journey. What’s exciting is I can quite literally ‘feel’ that I am a better Financial Planner than I was only last year. I have no doubt that this time next year, I’ll be even better. And what’s more exciting is that I’ve only scratched the surface of the content that is available to us, I have a reading list as long as my arm, a backlog of podcasts to work through and at least three other courses on my ‘hit’ list for the next 12 months.

The Block

I will hold my hands up and admit I have a crippling scarcity mindset. It’s something I’m acutely aware of and have to work on daily. How this manifests for me is that I really struggle to spend money on anything I haven’t planned and budgeted for thoroughly. It’s not that I don’t like spending money, but the PANIC sets in. What if something else comes up? What if something goes wrong and I needed that money after all? 

For this reason, anything ‘non-essential’ is a block for me, and until a year ago, professional training was definitely non-essential in my eyes. I was already doing okay, I was already pretty good at my job, I was already qualified, what did I need more training for?

The first time I dipped my toe in spending for development actually wasn’t professional. It was with a local life-coach whom I knew personally, and ran very successful virtual group coaching sessions. I had never been coached before in my life, and a Life Coach in honesty hadn’t ever appealed to me. But the struggles she spoke of resonated really deeply with me, particularly as a business woman and soon-to-be mother. I felt like I really had to justify spending the money on that course, to myself mainly but after I finished it, I realised that it was money well spent in so many ways. It had given me clarity on several things, gave me confidence to pursue angles I didn’t feel like I could before and a sense of purpose. It was the first time I didn’t feel like I needed a certificate at the end to validate the worthiness of learning.

Reading

For Christmas I bought myself a pile of work-related books. I had never actively engaged in ‘further reading’ and found it interesting at just how much there is available. I’d be lying if I said I have got through the whole pile, but I’ve made headway and I’ve found these particularly useful for my journey:

  • Carl Richards, The One Page Financial Plan
  • Nick Murray, Scripts
  • Chris Budd, The Financial Wellbeing Book
  • Paul Armson, ‘Enough’*

* This was actually a freebie when I signed up for my first training course, the Inspiring Advisers Academy

Virtual Training

As I alluded to above, I signed up in the new year to the Inspiring Advisers Academy which was the starting point for me. It was interesting to understand how other Planners operate and gave some practical tips and guidance. I wouldn’t say I’ve adopted Paul’s style exactly, but the course opened a door for me and I enjoyed that I could listen to the content at my leisure (usually during the 2am feeds!)

More recently I have undertaken Catherine Morgan’s Award-Winning Financial Coaching programme, to better understand how to start implementing financial coaching into my regulated work. Catherine is a pioneer and inspiration in our Profession and in general as a fellow business woman, so it was an honour to get to do work with her and learn directly from her.

Lastly, I knew this was the year I had to finally fully embrace cashflow modelling. I’ve dabbled over the years, I knew the market and systems fairly well, I just hadn’t ever really committed to it. But in the new way I wanted to operate, it had to be embedded in my Planning Process. I went on Andy Hart’s one day Voyant Go training course and it was full to bursting of practical tips to make planning even better and more consistent. I am eagerly awaiting the re-launch of his Voyantist course when it has been re-developed for the Voyant Go system.

Face to Face Training

As well as engaging on the CII Mentoring programme with an established Lifestyle Financial Planner, I attended a one day training course at the Financial Planning Training Academy with Steve Martin. I attended the ‘First Client Meeting’ training day and found it incredibly useful to start understanding how to restructure my Client Meetings away from traditional fact-finding meetings.

ALL the free stuff

And there is no end of it. Even if you have £0 to invest in your development, that’s no excuse as there is just so much available:

  •  The Personal Finance Society and PFS Power provide genuinely very useful webinars and Articles (I swear I’m not just saying it because I’m writing for them!)
  • There are plenty of old conference talks available from various sources (Humans Under Management, Science of Retirement Conference and PFS all have free talks available to watch online)
  • Podcasts are a huge learning opportunity, and it’s much easier to find time to digest than reading a book. Some of my favourites are:
    • The Financial Life Coach podcast
    • The Adviser gap podcast
    • Smart Divorce
    • In Her Financial Shoes
    • Meaningful Money
    • Maven Adviser
  • Sign up to newsletters! They can be surprisingly insightful and have some great people in the Profession offering opinions and content

I hope by engaging in some of the content above, you too will feel like you’re a better Financial Planner by this time next year.


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