Top tips for new Paraplanners

by Richard Allum on 18 April 2008

Elaine commented on the launch of our New Paraplanners post and following my reply has very kindly sent us details of some of the resources which helped her when she was starting out.

1. One of the best tools I ever used was a website called

It provides financial calculators (have a look yourself and see what you think) – one that is good in particular is the pension calculator which projects the fund the client will have, excellent for income forecasting in retirement. It does chargeable event, CGT, infact not much it doesn’t do!

2. I attach a spreadsheet I use for asset allocation – the only rule that comes with this is that you only delete data from the yellow areas – do not touch anything else. Input your fund, the asset allocation and this little spreadsheet works everything else out for you. Very handy also for building portfolios for clients. If you would like a copy please let us know.

3. When doing exams I found very useful – it gives so many sample questions, allows you to do them online, builds up CPD and you can compete against other members. I found it very inexpensive as they do packages where you can pick up to 5 subjects. You could share the user name with other people to cut the cost down i.e. if different people in the office were doing different exams.

4. I researched my funds using a package called analytics via financial express. It is expensive and not every ifa will want it but they would come to the office and do a free demo – I think it is roughly around £4,000 p.a. for 3 users. It is unbeatable in terms of what it does, it gives asset allocation of each fund, performance, benchmarking, allows you to build portfolios.

5. Finally just a comment for your site, paraplanners can come in at any level of experience and sometimes the pressures and expectations of your employer stop you from asking silly questions. You could have an anonymous section for embarrassing questions!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard Allum 18 April 2008 at 16:14

Many thanks Elaine. On your last point – the forum is open for anyone to ask any type of question without fear of embarrassing themselves although I take your point about pressures and expectations. We have to ask people to register first before posting or we will got lots of spam on there! However, users do not have to register with their real name!

Richard Allum 24 April 2008 at 16:45

We have now set up a ‘Silly Questions’ board on the forum where you can post without revealing your identity!

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