Having been a paraplanner myself for many years, I’ve lost count of how many times I have tried to answer (in an articulate way), ‘What is a paraplanner? What do you do?’ We all fall into the trap of underestimating what we do, probably list off a stream of tasks such as, ‘I research, talk to providers and write reports.’ Make it sound like, you know, ‘I do a good job but it’s not that life changing.’ Well, I am here to tell you that it can be!
If you have seen our latest role ad, you will know what being a paraplanner at Jacksons means: Working with the team to understand our clients’ journey; working together to research options and to help create solutions; playing an active part in our client’s future; helping put together financial planning that really IS life changing.
More specifically, when thinking about the role of a paraplanner here at Jacksons, we would probably say something like, ‘A paraplanner is a research specialist, a communication dynamo, a skilled writer, and a team sounding board.’ It’s a pivotal role. One that needs patience, along with a whole bag full of skills.
In one short sentence sum up the role of a paraplanner?
Jacob: Demystifying and cutting through the jargon, helping bring the plans to life.
Elliot: Assist the advisers in putting together a plan to help our clients reach their financial goals.
What do you love about the role and why?
Elliot: I love that we truly help people and their families. Why? Money is one of the biggest stresses in life and the ability to simplify this, or help manage this, can be lifechanging. Paraplanning can also be a bit like a puzzle, and helping figure out the best solution for the client brings me a real sense of satisfaction. There’s a great feeling of completeness when a well-considered and comprehensive planning report goes out.
Jacob: I personally love chatting to our clients, old and new, as well as the providers we deal with. There’s a lot of interesting people out there and always something to learn. [If you ever have the pleasure of chatting with Jacob over the phone, or in person, you’ll quickly come to see that he has excellent communication and customer service skills. He is a pleasure to speak with and seems to make friends with almost everyone he speaks to on a regular basis!]
What do you find hard and why?
Elliot: The part of my job I find a challenge is making sure that all the information is portrayed to the client in a way that is informative but also engaging. Why? Making sure that the information is correct and posed to the client in an engaging way could make the difference between a client having more questions and feeling out of control and a client who feels empowered to take action where needed and has freedom over their finances and a clear pathway to achieving their goals.
What do you bring to the team that is unique?
Jacob: I like to think a different perspective and approach. Otherwise, a rather challenging taste in music is up there too! [I would add Jacob is a pretty good chef and chief Jacksons barista!]
Elliot: I would self-confess to being the CMO (Chief Morale Officer) of the office, although everyone here is up to have fun at work and share stories. [Elliot is also convinced that he may very well be the most southerly paraplanner in the country, now living in St Just. As such, he is also considering getting a blue plaque made for the front of his house to commemorate it saying, 'First and Last Paraplanner in England!']
Honestly, these guys!! They have pretty much summed up the role that they play here at Jacksons. Demystifying and presenting information to our clients is really important. They come to us trusting we know what we are doing and understand the information we have been given. It’s up to us to present back to them, what we have found and how they should move forward, in a way that speaks to them and their personal journey.
We have challenged both Elliot and Jacob with attaining Diploma Level 4. Jacob is already there and Elliot has one exam left to go - but there’s no rush as experience in this role is just as powerful. They both understand it will take time to ace the role. We would love them to continue on to become Chartered, as this will really help their confidence in dealing with some of the complex work we do for our clients. If you’re interested in finding out more about the qualifications we are talking about, take a look here: https://www.cii.co.uk/learning/qualifications/diploma-in-financial-planning-qualification/
At Jacksons, we want our paraplanners to aspire to be experts in their field; to guide our clients smoothly; and to get a bit nosy and be involved the whole way through the client’s journey. I hope this gives you a bit more insight as to how these guys fit into the team and just how important they are. I am sure you will hear more from them in the future!
If you have read this and thought, ‘This is exactly me and exactly what I want to do,' don’t hesitate to think, just get in touch! Whether we have an active role being advertised or not, we always love hearing from potential great new members of our team.