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Rhyme and reason at financial planning week

The 2014 financial planning week has helped put people back in control of their affairs after an overwhelming year, the Institute of Financial Planning’s chief executive has said.

Speaking about the awareness campaign, which ended on Saturday 29 November, Steve Gazzard said: “This year consumers have been bombarded with information on products like pensions or Isas, with news of misselling scandals, offered guidance and threatened by an advice gap.”

Over the course of the week more than 60 adviser firms held free clinics for members of the public. People could also submit questions to financial planners through the IFP website.

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Chartered financial planner Justin King, of Dorset-based MFP Wealth Management, screened a feature-length documentary exploring the importance of financial planning to the lives of the baby-boomer generation.

Boom! Demographics are Destiny, written and directed by Martin Bamford, managing director of Surrey-based Informed Choice, and narrated by financial journalist Paul Lewis, was screened at the Regent Centre in Christchurch, Dorset, on Friday 28 November.

Annabel Brodie-Smith, communications director for the Association of Investment Companies, said: “Investors should always be proactive in monitoring their portfolios, and with the pension reforms coming in April, financial planning week was a good opportunity to reconsider clients’ long-term investments.”

As part of the week, one adviser, Keith Churchouse, director of Surrey-based Chapters Financial, wrote a poem, Ode to 30 Years in UK Financial Advice.

It covered the growth of the financial sector in the 1980s, regulation, pensions, house prices and qualifications and ended:

“With three decades complete and our business resplendent,

The future is more exciting than that just passed,

Remember that digital innovation we will all be dependent.”

Adviser view

Rebecca Aldridge, managing director of Nottinghamshire-based Balance: Wealth Planning, said: “People hear the phrase financial planning and think of the traditional advice model of door-to-door salesmen, but it is much more about having a plan for your future.”