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Report Writing Workshop Keith Churchouse, BA (Hons), FPFS Chartered Financial Planner, ISO 22222 Certified Financial Planner Director, Chapters Financial Limited Author of ‘Sign Here, Here and Here! Journey of a Financial Adviser
Definition of Perfect: Being without defect or blemish: a perfect specimen Does this man look perfect to you! …. . but what does his client advice Reports look like? ? ?
Agenda • • • What do you want to achieve with a Financial Planning Report? Is a Report a sales tool? Key Areas, What’s Good, Bad & Ugly? What are the key areas that you would expect to see in a financial planning report? Personalise & Automate. What’s Best? Personalise and Automate. Why? Outsourcing all or part of your Report? Response Form – A must! Presenting the Report Orally & Implementation Conclusions Any Questions?
What do you want to achieve with a Financial Planning Report? Work point 1 Open discussion Simply put: “To communicate the client’s individual financial planning”
Is a Report a sales tool? Yes! Not because it sells products (although it may recommend them), however, it sells you, your offering and your business in a written format and is part of the overall client experience. People buy People!
How do you do this? What are the key areas that you would expect to see in a financial planning report? • What’s Good? • What’s Bad? • What’s Ugly? . . . answers on a postcard please!
Key areas What’s Good? • • • Clear & Concise Shows Empathy & Listening Summarises Recommendations Reflects Advisers Individual Style & Expertise Requests Client Feedback & Involvement What do you think……. . ? ?
Key areas What’s Bad? • • • Encyclopaedia of Technical Specification Cut & Pastes from other client documents with old info/data left in No personalisation Late delivery Client areas discussed but not addressed What do you think……. . ? ? ? ……. these lists could be endless!
What does a Good or Bad Report include? Work Point 2 Open discussion and notes 2 Scribes please
What do you expect to be included or excluded in a ugly report? Open discussion • • Included • • Independent, when not Expected Performance (based on past performance)…and guaranteed! Inaccuracies Wrong client data Excluded: • • Costs and charges / penalties Provider Terms and Key Features Review Process / What happens next? Would you send application forms with your report? We do. ……………. . . again, an endless list!
What are the key areas that you would expect to see in a financial planning report? • Introduction, including when and where you met • Detail of the reason for the initial enquiry/review/why you are communicating? • Current circumstances and financial details, including loans, wills, health, inheritances • Attitude to Investment Risk • Existing Arrangements (including State Benefits) • Needs & Aspirations • Shortfalls (possibly cash flow modelling) • Solutions(s) & Changes recommended • Asset allocation • Charges & your fees (initial and on-going) • Administration, including ID, letters of authority and regulatory statement • Summary of recommendations and benefits • Response Form & Prepaid Envelope
How to write each part of your report Which parts you could/should personalise? ? • • • Introduction, including when and where you met Detail of the reason for the initial enquiry / review / why you are communicating ? Current circumstances and financial details, including loans, wills, health, inheritances, etc. personal to client Needs & Aspirations Summary of recommendations and benefits Response Form & Prepaid Envelope…more on this later!
How to write each part of your report (cont) Which parts you should/could automate? ? • Attitude to Investment Risk • (Low Risk/Balanced/High, Allocations of cash resources, Proportions / interest areas/ Ethical Restrictions/ Spousal/Partner differences) • Existing Arrangements (including State Benefits) • Tabulate them and understand why each plan was established. Letters of Authority for existing plans • Objective and limits, such as capital or budget restrictions, Priorities in order • Not necessarily buying a new plan, but holistic approach to solve issue/put client on track • Reference to risk profile, allocation made and link between both • CAR into the future, when does your client want reviews and the cost of their provision. • If the client wants to go with your advice and implement the changes recommended, what do they need to do to achieve this, cooling off periods, access to medical reports, referrals to other professionals, such as solicitors, etc. • Shortfalls (possibly cash flow modelling) • Solutions(s) & Changes recommended • Asset allocation • Charges & your fees (initial and on-going) • Administration, including ID, letters of authority and regulatory statement
Personalise & Automate. What’s best? Work Point 3 Open discussion and notes 2 different Scribes please
Personalise & Automate. Why? • • • Personalise: • Because your financial planning recommendations are a personal report to your client, confirming your listening and understanding of their needs, aspirations, even desires. Automate: • Save time costs, increase efficiencies, accurate and quick delivery, allows you to develop further an existing framework (not re-inventing the wheel each time), possible outsourcing potential. Question? : When is the last time you reviewed the report system you use? Is it still efficient, up to date and cost effective?
Outsourcing all or part of your Report? • One well regarded provider suggests the benefits of outsourcing could be: • • Access to highly qualified / experienced paraplanners (Chartered or Certified) Wide view of the industry, not just your company view Cost benefits: no NI / pension contributions / exam fees / Holiday / maternity cover not required (unless an individual used, rather than a company) Flexibility: quiet periods – smaller cost, not full wage bill
Outsourcing all or part of your Report? Work Point 4 Open discussion Does outsourcing work for you? What are your experiences? All or part of the Report?
Benefits & Shortfalls • Do templates work for you and why / why not? • • Who should prepare/check the report? Who should deliver the report? How should it be delivered? What is most cost effective to your business & why?
When should you issue your report? • Before or after the advice and possible implementation has been completed? • • The FSA suggest that it can be issued promptly after completion of an application, but is this a good business model? Issuing a Report before a second meeting allows clients to understand more fully the recommendations being made and to challenge any inaccuracies? It is better to do this before any agreed action rather than after!
Response Form - A must! • Why? • • • Because it is a way of demonstrating (and documenting) on file that the client has read and either agreed with your recommendations or asked for changes to part or all of your report. Great paper log of clients commitment to your planning. An ISO 22222 standard.
Presenting the Report Orally & Implementation • Does it make sense? • • • The report must be readable, both for the client and the presenter / adviser You know the client • If their grasp of all things financial is good, then see how far they want you to go into the report and if they have questions If they are likely to find the process difficult (or simply boring!) then have empathy in walking through the report to reach agreement
. . . but what works for you? Report Delivery & Implementation Work Point 5 Best practice / Open discussion
Conclusions • • We have seen today that we are all different and we all have different clients, markets, styles, processes and expectations. I hope that as a minimum you have taken away at least one idea that you can implement into your practice going forward…. . Work Point 6 Write down one main idea you have learnt today that you could implement successfully
Conclusions • • There is no one conclusion to what a good report looks like, but whatever you do make it personal to the recipient Don’t be scared of change. Our profession cannot do anything else but change, especially in the coming months If you have colleagues in other practices that you know (and trust) then share best practice with them. They will welcome and benefit from the interaction Above all, be proud of your financial planning Reports and ensure that your team, administrators, advisers and paraplanners understand each aspect of your advice process, how they fit into this process and do the same!
Any Questions? ? Thank you Keith Churchouse FPFS Chartered Financial Planner, ISO 22222 Certified Financial Planner Director, Chapters Financial Limited Author of ‘Sign Here, Here and Here! Journey of a Financial Adviser