During these 'unprecedented times' it is important to keep up to date and, better yet, keep in touch with each other, writes Caroline Stuart. Here, she explains how paraplanners can stay connected and make up for the lack of industry events...
I keep hearing we are in "unprecedented times"; in fact, the number of times I keep seeing the word ‘unprecedented', is itself unprecedented. We are all quite rightly, and very sensibly, following government advice: working from home where we can and keeping our distance. But, for some people, this is going to be a big struggle.
It's not just working from home that people are having to adjust to. All of our professional events have - again, very sensibly - been cancelled or postponed, including this year's round of Personal Finance Society Purely Paraplanning conferences. Being a member of the PFS Paraplanner Panel and knowing how much work goes into these by everyone involved, I was naturally disappointed, but I know it won't be wasted and will get used at some point.
So what can we do to make sure we still have human contact while we're all in our own home bunkers and fill the gap left by CPD and learning events being cancelled? It is important to keep up your learning during these difficult times but, most importantly, it is crucial to keep in touch with colleagues, connections and pals so we keep our community growing and supporting one another.
There are, thankfully, a number of ways to keep in touch with other paraplanners, a couple of examples are here:
The Paraplanners Powwow Big Tent - You can sign up to this forum to speak with and get help from other paraplanners. It's a really friendly and warm environment where everyone just wants to support each other.
You can join the PFS Paraplanner HQ Group on LinkedIn - This is a group for paraplanners where the Panel can give updates on everything we're doing but anyone can post and join in.
Without wanting to teach anyone to suck eggs, there are also little simple things you can do - set up a group with a bunch of your paraplanning buddies on WhatsApp, (or any other preferred messenger apps). I'm in a couple of paraplanner groups and we are constantly in touch with each other making sure everyone is doing okay.
It's really reassuring knowing there is always someone there you can have a natter with if you are struggling a bit or even just want some human interaction whilst you're locked down.
If you don't feel you know enough paraplanners to form a group, you could even get in touch with me, Caro @ Sparrow - I'm always happy to have a natter with anyone!
On the learning front and to make sure you keep on top of your CPD, the Paraplanners Powwow are also still running their ‘Howwows' and you can sign up for these on their website. These are top quality webinars covering all sorts of topics and are always really interesting and useful - well worth checking out.
Lots of providers also have really good learning material on their websites, from tax and trusts to pensions and all sorts in between. Prudential even do quizzes if you fancy being tested as you listen!
So while we are in these ‘unprecedented' times and all having to get used to working very differently, very quickly, there is support out there for you. Just remember, this isn't going to be forever and you will get through this. If you can get through it having made more paraplanning buddies, even better.
Caroline Stuart is a paraplanner and owner of Sparrow Paraplanning
Call for FCA register to be delayed
Six month delay
In their own words
The lang cat has made parts of its platform analyser available for free so financial advisers can see how platforms are dealing with the 10% MiFID notification rule, which has been much-used in recent weeks.
Call for FCA register to be delayed