My Experience at Para-Sols so far…

Despite having to tell my friends and family numerous times that I’m not involved in the umbrella business, I have thoroughly enjoyed my first 3 months at Para-Sols.

Before I started, I thought I knew quite a bit about pensions, investments, insurance and the like, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, during my first few days, after a crash course in the basics of the finance industry from Kim and Cathi, it quickly dawned on me that I didn’t actually know how pensions or investments really worked, and all the different options available. SIPPs, SSASs, GPPs, PPPs, EPPs, ISAs, OEICs …. the acronyms seemed to go on and on!

In my time so far, I feel that I have deeply enhanced my knowledge of financial services but I’m very aware that there is so, so much more that I don’t know. I have come to realise that the industry must be so confusing for people who haven’t been immersed in the financial services environment. To me, this has highlighted the importance of financial advisers/planners to help people understand the options available for their money and to safeguard, grow and most importantly enjoy their savings in the most efficient way possible.

My ongoing development and learning has resulted in sitting my RO1 exam towards my Level 4 Diploma in Financial Planning at the start of November, which I fortunately passed! My goal is to complete my Diploma by the end of 2016, and continue to learn more about this vital industry.

Three months ago I joined Para-Sols as part of their graduate scheme, and it would be fair to say that it has been a very steep learning curve!

Having studied Zoology at university, I can’t say that my degree prepared me for a career in financial services! However, it has been refreshing to begin to learn the subject (almost) from scratch. And what a lot I have learnt…..

My first week began with very intense crash course in the basics of the finance industry, and the various roles of the paraplanner and the financial adviser within this. We then moved on to products, tax wrappers, taxation and of course the jargon of the industry. As a first week in a new job, it certainly delivered – I was more than a little overwhelmed but determined to get to grips with it.

Since then, the amount that I have learnt cannot be measured. I have learnt about the admin, research and analytics that must be done before a financial plan can be written, and the myriad of tools and processes that are used to do this. I have now begun to write reports and learn the different styles and requirements of the firms that we work with. Most recently I was delighted to pass my first exam towards my level 4 Diploma in Financial Planning. Every step of the way Cathi and my colleagues have been so helpful and supportive, and a veritable mine of information!

Going forward I am now planning a date for taking my next exam, and continuing to learn from my daily work life.