A career in Regulated Financial Planning can serve as a stepping stone towards becoming a Generic Financial Planner, offering further opportunities for professional growth and advancement. If you want more from your vocation, serving larger audiences and building a solid financial foundation for your future, open your mind to the possibilities of generic financial planning.
Doing a quick asset audit:
In the UK, a Level 4 Financial Planner typically refers to someone who has achieved the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning, a qualification awarded by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). Here are some of the requirements and competencies that are typically associated with this certification:
- Completion of the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning, which includes six units covering various areas of financial planning.
- Completion of a minimum of two years of relevant professional experience.
- Adherence to the CII’s Code of Ethics and Conduct.
- Knowledge of financial products and services, including investments, pensions, and insurance.
- Ability to analyse and interpret financial data to make recommendations to clients.
- Understanding of tax laws and regulations and ability to develop tax-efficient financial plans.
- Ability to create and manage investment portfolios that align with client’s objectives and risk tolerance.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including explaining complex financial concepts in plain language.
- Ability to build relationships with clients and provide exceptional customer service.
- Strong attention to detail and ability to ensure accuracy in financial planning and investment management.
- Knowledge of regulatory requirements and ability to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
- Ability to work effectively in a team and collaborate with other professionals, such as accountants and attorneys.
- Commitment to ongoing professional development and continuous learning.
Other RQF (Regulated Qualification Framework) Level 4 awarding bodies specific to a career in Financial Planning are the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) and the London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF).
Leveraging entrepreneurial opportunity:
A Generic Financial Planner is a broader role than a Regulated Financial Planner, as a Regulated Financial Planner, is a Financial Planner and Regulated Financial Adviser advising on specific regulated products, such as regulated investments. A Generic Financial Planner is a Financial Planner and Generic Financial Adviser, advising on all assets, including other financial assets such as savings accounts, property, land ownership, occupational pension scheme rights, business assets, collectables, other tangible assets, and in particular, intangible assets.
Intangible assets are assets that do not have a physical existence but provide value to a business or individual. Here are some examples of intangible assets:
- Brand names and trademarks
- Copyrights and patents
- Customer lists and customer relationships
- Intellectual property, such as software and algorithms
- Licenses and permits.
- Non-compete agreements.
- Proprietary technology
- Trade secrets and know-how
- Reputation and public image
- Domain names and website content
- Employee skills and expertise
- Research and development projects
- Advertising and marketing campaigns
- Social media presence and followers
- Franchise agreements
- Broadcasting and media rights
- Contracts and agreements
- Distribution networks and channels
- Government licenses and regulatory approvals.
It’s important to note that the value of intangible assets can be challenging to quantify and may require professional valuation services to determine their worth. That’s a new skill set.
Here is a further breakdown of individual asset classes (source: London Business School).
Productive assets are intangible assets used to generate income or enhance productivity. Here are some examples of productive assets that individuals may own:
- Intellectual property, such as patents or copyrights, is used to create and market products or services.
- Professional expertise or skills, such as those held by lawyers, doctors, or other highly specialised professionals, can be leveraged to provide services to clients or employers.
- Personal reputation and brand can be used to secure new clients or opportunities.
- Networking skills and relationships can help generate new business opportunities or career prospects.
- Educational degrees and certifications can be used to demonstrate knowledge and expertise in a particular field.
Vitality assets are intangible assets that support physical and emotional health and well-being. Here are some examples of vitality assets that individuals may own:
- Personal support systems like family and friends provide emotional support and care.
- Fitness and nutrition knowledge, exercise equipment, and gym memberships help promote physical health.
- Meditation and mindfulness practices can promote mental and emotional health and reduce stress.
- Hobbies and creative outlets can provide a sense of fulfilment and joy.
- Positive self-image and self-esteem can support mental and emotional health and promote self-care.
Transformational assets are intangible assets that support personal growth and development. Here are some examples of transformational assets that individuals may own:
- Personal values and beliefs, which guide decision-making and personal development.
- Life experiences and challenges, which provide opportunities for learning and growth.
- Personal vision and mission statements provide a sense of purpose and direction.
- Personal development tools and resources, such as books, courses, and coaching, support self-improvement.
- Personal resilience and adaptability, which support the ability to overcome challenges and make positive changes.
Here are some additional competencies required of a Generic Financial Planner:
1. Knowledge of all assets.
2. Ability to analyse and value all assets.
3. Understanding the tax laws and regulations relating to all assets and the ability to develop tax-efficient asset strategies.
[When considering regulations and codes of conduct, you must be aware that over 70 institutions, such as professional bodies and trade associations, oversee UK financial service professionals. There is a patchwork quilt of regulations covering all financial services professionals with which you should be familiar; each organisation has its code of conduct. In particular, knowledge of the FCA handbook is vital, and the perimeter guidance rules relating to regulated and generic advice, and the ability to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations.]
4. Ability to create and manage asset portfolios aligning with client objectives and risk tolerance. In particular, the ability to produce asset strategies that optimise the production of tangible assets whilst minimising risk and an understanding of the underlying portfolio theory (asset alchemy) in this broader sense. This strategy includes the ability to plan to utilise productive assets, leverage entrepreneurial opportunities to create sustainable livelihoods through proposition development frameworks; Understand how to utilise vitality assets to create longevity in economic activity; Understand how to utilise transformational assets to reduce risk; Understand how to shift from exchanging time for money to exchanging intangible assets for money, to move income streams from active to passive.
5. Excellent life planning skills. Ability to clearly define favourite future scenarios to produce lifetime liability forecasts, against which lifetime asset forecasts can be mapped to support the client’s vision. This strategy includes plans to create wealth, not only to save already created wealth. This strategy requires excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including explaining complex asset strategies in plain language.
6. An understanding of the various stages of a new psychology of human development, strong attention to detail and ability to match client outcomes with client needs.
7. Knowledge of the whole-person paradigm and how it relates to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
8. Financial coaching skills to increase clients’ financial activation levels, from disengaged and overwhelmed to maintaining healthy behaviours and pushing further.
9. Ability to complete values assessments with clients, to produce a values-led financial plan.
10. Ability to complete an asset audit with clients, to produce a purpose-driven financial plan.
11. Ability to deliver educational and financial services for clients to become more tech-savvy, empowered, and self-directed in their financial decisions.
12. Ability to plan large groups of people simultaneously with one-to-many (done-with-you) and none-to-many (done-by-you) business models.
Deliver sustainable livelihoods and change lives:
As a regulated financial planner, I understand that this extension may initially appear somewhat daunting. Rest assured that if you are level 4 or above qualified down a regulated career path, you have been taking exams in generic financial planning until now (you never recommended a particular investment to your examiner, did you!).
I urge you to recognise that the skill set of a regulated financial planner is merely a fraction of what a generic financial planner is capable of. Progressing from a regulated to a generic financial planner is not just a step but a leap towards an exciting professional journey. Your regulated experience was a foundation for something far more fulfilling than just peddling regulated products. You have the potential to shape the destiny of your clients and play a role in the evolution of humanity.
If you are ready to transform your business model into a more comprehensive, accessible, scalable, and ultimately beneficial approach for your future clients, don’t hesitate to slide into my DMs today.