As we once again support Financial Planning week, we find a lot of people asking why we are such avid supporters of the initiative. For us it’s simple – it’s about doing the right thing. We all know that access to solid financial education is difficult for many parts of modern society, and access to expert financial advice is even more so.
A 2021 study by Freetrade found that only 52% of Brits surveyed passed their financial literacy test and that 88% of the participants did not feel confident in their financial literacy. These are just the latest figures that highlight the problem which we, as financial planners, have experienced for many years.
What is Financial Planning Week?
For us, Financial Planning Week is our chance to give back, to use our skills for the greater good and to shine a spotlight on this issue. Our financial planners dedicate a set number of hours in the week, ranging from 5 hours to 15 hours, to offer free one-hour surgery sessions with anybody who needs it. We also dedicate our blog and social media content to sharing helpful resources. Not only does this assist in helping those not able to secure a free session, but it also highlights the initiative to our peers in the industry.
Aside from giving back, we find that the week is filled with opportunities to learn from the wide range of individuals we speak with. In fact, one planner, Farida Hassanali, who works closely with the CISI, says it’s one of her favourite weeks of the year.
The organisers themselves describe the week as follows: ‘Financial planning is a professional service for individuals, their families, and businesses, who need objective assistance in organising their financial affairs to achieve their financial and lifestyle objectives more readily.’ (Source)
Who is Financial Planning Week for?
Financial Planning Week is for anyone and everyone. We believe that access to financial advice from qualified experts should be accessible to anyone who needs it. Unfortunately, the destruction caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has seen the advice gap grow even further according to a 2020 report by Open Money (source) with some 59% of households reporting some kind of debt, up by 3% compared to 2019. More alarmingly, the report also shows that only 24% (2019: 24%) of the surveyed participants save every time they get paid, 21% (2019: 25%) don’t have a pension and the same number have no cash savings at all.
Why is financial education important?
Financial education is about helping people make well-informed choices and encouraging financially responsible behaviour. With the rise of poorly researched and unqualified financial advice on social media, we feel the problem is only going to get worse for young people, many of whom are choosing to invest (if at all) in hugely volatile and unregulated asset classes.
A UK-based study by FinCap found 11.5 million have less than £100 in savings, nearly nine million of us are in serious debt, and only around a third receive help. (Source) For us, the statistics are alarming and we are ready to commit to any action we can reasonably take.
Financial planning Week allows us to break down some of those age-old barriers to advice, though we recognise there is still a lot to be done. We have supported the initiative for many years and will continue to do so. For more information on our free one-hour surgery sessions please visit www.paradigmnorton.co.uk/financialplanningweek2021 . For details on how to get involved in Financial Planning Week visit https://www.cisi.org/cisiweb2/cisi-website/forms-2021/sign-up-to-show-your-support-for-financial-planning-week-2021#:~:text=The%20week%20will%20be%20held,love%20to%20hear%20from%20you.
This article is distributed for educational purposes and should not be considered investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy, or investment product.