Paraplanning means fulfilling the administrative duties of a financial planning. Thanks to paraplanning, financial planners can focus more on cooperating with the customer and identifying his investment needs .
"A para-planner is someone who sits behind the scenes, taking the raw material and ideas that a financial planner gets from working with a client and then analysing them, modelling them and deciding if they are going to work or not. They then look at the universe of investments, find some that match the outcomes required and document all of this for the financial planner (who then, as the joke goes, takes all the credit)".
Paraplanning workers fill the gaps between financial planners and the administration because they have the capacity and competence that goes beyond the scope of the administrative staff. Paraplanner activities are also often complementary to the work of the Relationship Manager and Management Advisor. The team composed of these specialists is able to provide comprehensive services to up to 100 clients with high net worth.
Paraplanners usually have no contact with the client or it is very inconsiderable. Their task is to create plans and perform the tasks entrusted to them by the financial planner. They can also work with financial planning software or settle accounts with clients. In relation to them, financial plans are regularly updated along with the changing situation of the client, thanks to which they can also create forecasts and reports. They often appear at meetings with clients to create notes and deal with the administration.
Requirements to become a paraplanner
A person trying to get a job as a paraplanner should have a license and financial training. The more an employee is involved in the financial planning process, the more emphasis is placed on licensing or authorizing.
More experienced paraplanners, especially those with a license for securities, may already directly cooperate with clients, enter their data into programs, and help in organizing meetings. There are two practices, one of which foresees for the paraplanners their own individual career path, in the second the paraplanners position precedes the position of the financial planner. Many good financial specialists cannot imagine not having at least one paraplanner in their company, they are increasingly becoming the key to success.
A type of paraplanner is contract paraplanner - an individual that works on variable contract. Usually paraplanners work on full-time salary, as it is cheaper and less risky for the company.
In-house and outsourced paraplanning
In addition to in-house paraplanning that allows you to pick out from the company's employees with predispositions to the paraplanner (which is much safer in terms of sensitive data leaks outside the company), there is also an outsourced paraplanning option in situations when the company can not afford to hire a qualified employee. As Marci Bair, CFP of Bair Financial Planning says: “it makes a lot of sense for a planner to outsource functions that aren't part of his or her core strengths to a paraplanner. "Think about what your time is worth—I would venture to say that in most cases your time is worth more than it would cost to hire someone to do the job””.
Examples of Paraplanner tasks
Steve Moore mentions such exemplary tasks in his book:
- Perform data entry in planning tool,
- Handle with paperwork,
- Performance reporting,
- Perform data documentation,
- Maintaining client files and requests,
- Appointment scheduling,
- Prepare reviews end reports,
- Vendor management.
- Kohler A., 2013, ch. 3
- Toten M., 2006, p. 28
- Canion P., 2018, ch. 5
- Moore S., 2011, p. 153
- Toten M., 2006, p. 31
- CCH Australia Limited, 2010, p. 554
- Buttell A., 2008, p. 6
- Buttell A., 2008, p. 6
- MooreS., 2011, p. 159
- Buttel-Crane A., (2008), PARAPLANNERS: Answer to Work Overload?, Journal of Financial Planning, 3.
- Callan V., Johnson M., (2002), Some guidelines for financial planners in measuring and advising clients about their levels of risk tolerance, Journal of Personal Finance, 1.
- Canion P., (2018), More than money: A Rock Star Guide to Finance, Paul Street St Marys, Australia.
- CCH Australia Limited, (2010), Australian Master Financial Planning Guide, McPherson's Printing Group, Australia.
- Kohler A., Francis S., Harris F., (2013), The Eureka Way: Navigating the Financial Advice Minefield Without Blowing Your Wealth, ABC Books, Australia.
- Moore S., Brooks G., (2011), Ineffective habits of financal advisors, John Wiley & Sons, Canada.
- Schulaka C., (2011), Paraplanner Salary and Benefit Trends, Journal of Financial Planning, 1.
- Toten M., (2006), Financial Planning, Carieer FAQs Pty Ltd, Australia.
Author: Dominika Pszonak