A busy week full of early starts, compliance requests and provider woes for this adviser
I am an early riser and at my desk for around 7am.
Once I have sorted out emails and listed who I need to phone, I make a start on my pensions admin work – chasing companies for information and dealing with scheme administration, re-enrolment and declarations of compliance with the Pensions Regulator.
My business was founded on this work and it remains the backbone of this advice company.
I move on to Zoom calls with clients, discussing defined benefit transfers.
Every other Tuesday I join a networking group – remotely at the present time – during which we take it in turns to present our business to the others in the group.
The group has been a source of great support during lockdown, when I am working in isolation and not able to bounce ideas off anyone.
When I get back into my work routine, I start to wade through some DB cases and finally get into some studying. I am taking AF7 in April 2021.
Wednesday provides an opportunity to complete a few compliance requirements from my network, pi financial.
It still has a skeleton team in the office and file checkers working from home.
It has asked to check a recent pension case so I need to submit the complete case file.
Pi expects its advisers to complete two compliance tests every month, so I plough through both of those.
Having completed the tests, the rest of the day is a bit mad as I have three client calls back-to-back.
After another early morning run, I am back at my desk.
I have noticed that I am getting more DB cases from outside my catchment area. I am thankful for Zoom, which means I can have a virtual face-to-face meeting without having to drive for hours.
I have been getting a lot more protection cases and even more people looking to retirement. Lockdown has led to more people taking stock of their situation and perhaps becoming more introspective.
Frustration again as I try to get through to a few providers who are all working from home, so there are massive delays.
I have to go on ‘live chat’ with one, which is fair enough but then I contact other providers and hit a brick wall with one, which states it will only take calls if there has been a bereavement.
If that wasn’t bad enough, I was on hold to HM Revenue & Customs for an hour trying to contact them with a query.
On the plus side, I find all the clients I have contacted today have been remarkably upbeat and I am blessed to have such lovely, decent clients. It is so important to invest and establish a good relationship with them. Despite the uncertainties of 2020, it has actually been my best year to date.