The pandemic has changed so many aspects of our lives, and the way we work — and has even influenced the way financial planners, well, plan. Below we asked three financial planners from different parts of the UK about how the pandemic has changed the way they operate.
3 responses from the Newspage community
"The increased adoption of technology has been one of the defining trends of the pandemic and the IFA community, which is notoriously old-fashioned, has been forced to participate. We already offered our clients video reviews and access to their investments through our own portal before the pandemic but it has now become the default setting among the IFA community as a result of the pandemic. "However, external events such as a pandemic should not change long-term strategies, because the basics of a good financial plan are consistent across the years, whatever happens: spend less than you earn, put money away in low-cost investments, take higher investment risk for funds that you can afford to put away for longer. These are all themes that should never be changed."
"Events such as the pandemic are what we are here for. It's when events happen that are "not normal" that we can prove our worth. One of the questions our clients are asking us is why the value of their pensions/investments have gone up, even through the pandemic. I explain that the markets do not always respond to events in the way that you would expect. More importantly, I remind clients not to get too excited when they go through periods of high growth, as there will without doubt be periods of temporary decline, too. The most important thing is that we stick to the financial plan that we have created. The fundamentals to our financial planning have stayed the same; what has changed is how we deliver our service. Video calls have become the norm, along with digital signatures, PDF reports and online bookings for meetings."
"During the pandemic, we decided to change our central investment proposition offered to clients. For some time we had been considering employing a specialist investment manager to run the strategies in-house. This was going to cost a great deal for the salary and appropriate technology. But as we saw during Covid, technology was the great enabler. We found we could outsource the central investment proposition work and benefit from working with a team of professionals. We found Betafolio who are unique in the market place in that they charge flat fees to the advisers rather than the clients and use technology that enables us to put together all the features of a robust central investment proposition at a fraction of the cost. We will always look for the most efficient way to serve our clients especially when it comes to administrative matters. This allows us to focus on the complex areas that add value."