Why so many hours? Protection planning

20 November 2020

Becoming a qualified financial planner is an honour. It takes many years of study and experience to bring together a holistic approach to the way financial planning for an individual, business or charity should be considered, explained, detailed, delivered, and of course reviewed regularly. Each section of the advice process takes time and a keen eye to make sure that clients achieve good outcomes, both at the outset and into the future.

With the many exams complete, you might think that a financial planner can hang up their study goggles and relax. You would be wrong. Each year, a financial planner must also undertake a minimum of 35 hours Continuing Professional Development (CPD), largely in the topics that they specialise in. This might be pensions, investments and of course protection planning.

The protection market, and by this we mean the likes of life assurance, critical illness cover, business protection, permanent health insurance and the like, has in the past been a poor relation in comparison to the pension and investment market. I am not sure why, and there have been some changes to ensure that this topic remains at the forefront of an adviser's mind. One change is the need to complete 15 hours of CPD on the topic each year, either included within the minimum 35 hours, or above this level if need be. The first anniversary of this requirement has just passed and the change has been worthwhile. It should be noted that many protection providers have innovated in recent times to make their plans and offerings more flexible in the way they can be delivered, offering multi-covers in many instances.

Protection planning is usually one of the first topics you learn as a financial adviser and becomes to some extent second nature by the time you reach the more complicated topics. This might in part be a reason why it gets neglected as other areas of advice are learned and understood. The CPD updates are very welcome, and a timely reminder of what has been learned in the past to stimulate the mind and ultimately conversations and advice to clients on plans and policies that might help their ever-evolving needs.

Will it make a difference overall? I believe it will lead to more conversations on the varying health and life protection opportunities, including inheritance tax planning, to either implement protection arrangements, or to document that they have been considered and declined, if appropriate.

Whatever your protection needs may be, either personally to protect the family, or through a business to protect colleagues and shareholders as examples, talk to the team at Chapters Financial in Guildford for your needs and requirements.

No individual advice is provided during the course of this blog.

Keith Churchouse FPFS

Director

Chartered Financial Planner

Chapters Financial Limited