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Be viewed as a lifetime planner rather than ‘just’ a financial adviser – i4C Technology

Be viewed as a lifetime planner rather than ‘just’ a financial adviser

, 22 October 2018

Welcome to the i4C blog. What a few weeks we have had since the last blog;

  • We’ve presented to over 100 firms across the country.
  • I’ve personally experienced the travel chaos caused by Storm Ali up in Glasgow and had to trek across the north of the country like Dennis Quaid in The Day After Tomorrow, maybe not quite as dramatic (or heroic) but it felt like it at the time!
  • We’ve launched our integration with Intelliflo as part of our highly exciting strategic relationship.
  • Throw in the Golf Ryder Cup (financial planners across the country having blocked out their diaries to ‘work from home’ in preparation of Europe bringing the trophy home) and the small matter of the DB pension regulations coming into force from 1st October, it’s been a busy few weeks!

It was ironic that I was touring the country, presenting about the perfect storm brewing for the financial planning industry, only to be battered by Storm Ali. Maybe she was jealous I was trying to tell the story of ‘The Perfect Storm’ and distract from her demonstrating ‘The Perfect Storm’ ….do storms have emotions? Probably not but I like to think I was giving her a run for her money!

The Perfect Storm?

Following numerous regulation changes over recent years, cashflow modelling is becoming more important to focus clients on the long term holistic nature of planning, rather than short-term investment management.  Planners are being viewed as lifetime coaches that can have a direct impact on a client’s lifestyle over the long term, rather than investment managers who simply focus on the short-term gains or losses.

Over the last few months, whilst MIFID II has created numerous headaches across the industry from a paperwork and administration perspective, it shouldn’t be forgotten its other impact is to give the client transparency in terms of the service they are receiving, the performance of their assets and the charges they are paying for their financial planning services.

Whilst this isn’t necessarily a problem when markets are performing as they have done over the last 10 years, but what happens when the following factors combine to create the perfect storm?

You could find yourself in the situation where a client loses money on their assets, whilst you still receive your ongoing adviser charges for the planning and service you are providing them.  Whilst, as the planners, you appreciate the need for a long-term view on their financial planning, this may be seen as a potential imbalance for the client and require addressing.

This is where cashflow modelling becomes highly valuable.  Generally, we have found that as a result of effective cashflow modelling clients will:

  • Disclose more information and personal objectives through the input and scenario building processes.
  • Remain clients for longer as they really value access to the process and outputs.
  • View financial planning fees in the context of long-term planning value (not just as an annual cost)
  • Refer friends and family on the back of using applications with their financial planners – so that they can benefit from the process as well

Ask Rob……….Your question of the week

In this regular section, Rob Tedder – our Knowledge & Success Manager – answers a key question that we’ve received from an i4C software user.

Question: Is i4C APTA compliant and can I use it for Defined Benefit transfers without over engineering the client situation?

Rob says:

This is a question that comes up in pretty much every presentation and demo that we run for current and prospective users.  I must remember to thank the FCA for that, maybe I’ll send a card.

In a nutshell, our pension tools and support documents for producing DB transfer scenarios have been externally audited to ensure they are compliant with the FCA guidance.  Using i4C it really couldn’t be simpler.

The data input process for a DB scheme is simple and easy to do.  You have two options:

  1. Statement Basis – We appreciate that scheme administrators can be slow to send information through, so you can input the data using the last benefit statement for a quick analysis of the client situation, pension benefits and scenario planning.

However, for active schemes especially, you should always undertake a full analysis with the scheme information to assess the full and moving parts of the process.

  1. Calculated Basis – You can enter the full scheme information (earnings, accrual rates, increases etc) on a calculated basis and i4C will do all the workings for you in the background.  Remember though, you can access all the projected numbers and get under the bonnet via the data output reconciliation tables.  i4C will also calculate the annual allowance implications for you to save you another timely exercise.

We then suggest (in line with APTA requirements) that you consider the following scenarios as part of your planning. See below for the process in a handy flow chart format.

Article of the week

According to Nick Eatock, founder of Intelliflo, financial planners who adopt the most technology enjoy more efficiencies and have more time to do other things and have, on average, 127 more clients than those who do not.  I agree that technology gives planners the opportunity to innovate and find new ways to engage with an evolving client base. Using ‘easy to use’ technology in client meetings, such as cashflow modelling tool, will play a crucial role in helping stimulate engagement further. You can read his article here https://lnkd.in/gwAFVJV

Let’s hope that we steer clear of storms in the real world but have a busy couple of weeks at work protecting ourselves from the financial services “Perfect Storm”.

Until next time, happy cashflow planning!