Steve Gazzard

Director, S J Gazzard Consulting Ltd

What will 2020 bring for Financial Planning? I am convinced it will bring greater acceleration towards its recognition as a profession by government and regulators. Consumers have never needed more help, guidance and advice, and study after study has shown that taking regulated financial advice from a personal finance professional will provide benefits over not seeking advice. There is a place for all services on the advice spectrum; for example, younger clients with goals such as house purchase or protection for their family might benefit from product solution focused advice initially, but as their circumstances develop, they might benefit from a comprehensive Financial Planning service

A Financial Planner can provide a comprehensive financial plan to achieve a client’s lifetime goals. Recommendations can include the linkages between income & expenditure, debt, savings & investments and tax. A cashflow model helps clients envision their financial future including the actions needed by all parties to achieve the financial plan, and the products which may support the achievement of the plan. The Planner acts as lead professional adviser.

Financial Planning firms need a range of skills within their teams covering the ability to engage deeply with clients who may never have thought about what ‘a life well lived’ looks like, also delivering excellent technical solutions and delivering these through a professional, ethical and efficient process.

This is why events such as the Festival of Financial Planning are so exciting; it’s an opportunity for the entire profession to come together to share ideas and see how we can develop a unique relationship with each client, finding out what really matters to them, helping them develop a vision in their own language, adding knowledge where helpful, challenging the client when needed and enabling them to overcome the inevitable obstacles, guiding them through their unique financial journey and offering a service that lasts a lifetime.

It sounds simple to work out what you want from life, and spend your money accordingly, but for many people it needs facilitation, challenge and expertise from a professional.

Ultimately, the opportunity is there for firms and individual planners to make a profound difference in the life of clients. The 2020 Festival will be a great way to share ideas and best practice, develop skills & competencies, get inspired and challenge ourselves.

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