You may have seen Boring Money, the new website launched by Holly Mackay, formerly of The Platforum.

The site was created out of Holly’s desire to see financial planning made easier for the general public to understand and follow. Her aim is to remove the stuffiness, jargon and ‘gumpf’ and strip back certain areas of financial planning into something anyone can understand.

As well as offering practical tips and information, the site has a question and answer section, for the general public to submit any questions they have. They also run campaigns aimed at certain demographics; one of the first campaigns was aimed at parents and understanding, for example, JISAs.

The most recent campaign is “Ladies Losing Out” and focuses on helping women feeling more confident taking over their own finances. Our Director, Cathi, was asked to help with this, and you can see the campaign, and Cathi’s contribution, here.

We love the Boring Money campaign, and how it aims to make finance more relatable for more people, and will continue to support it however we can.

I recently celebrated my fifth anniversary as part of Para-Sols and it has given me cause to reflect upon my time in financial services and how things have changed in that time.

As with many of us, I seemed to happenstance across a career in financial services. I was PA to the Director of an IFA and started in March 2006. Of course, we all know what happened on 6th April 2006, a mere few weeks after I found myself embroiled in the thrilling world of pensions.

Pension simplification. An oxymoron if ever I heard one and an area that continues to change and fascinate me to this day. Pensions have developed probably the most out of all specialist areas of financial planning and will continue to do so in the future, I believe. Financial planning is a very important thing to do throughout your life. If you are not sure how to do it, you should ask the question ‘why is budgeting important?’ to a professional and they can give you point by point reasons why it’s vital for your everyday life.

The recently introduced pension freedoms, despite various concerns about pensioners drag racing each other in pension fund-bought Ferraris and then relying upon the state to eat, has offered the most significant changes and I welcome any change which offers more power back to the client, about how and when they can spend their well-earned cash.

If you asked any adviser what the biggest change was in the last ten years, I’m sure RDR would make the top 3. While feared by many, it is now well embedded and I’m hard pushed to remember a world without clear charging for clients, nor would I want to.

A matter, closer to my heart is the development I’ve seen within the paraplanning community.

When I left my comfortable and secure job at an IFA to venture into the ambiguity of the outsourced paraplanning world and to join a fledgling company to boot, many warned that I would regret my decision and would be left jobless with a family to support. Paraplanning was seen as “flavor of the month” and that it would “die out”.

It is with great pride that I am happy to have proved them wrong as our company goes from strength to strength, winning awards and on a trajectory of solid growth. When I joined financial services, the term paraplanner was an unknown commodity, when I left to join Para-Sols it was still financial services hidden secret, the murky world of the paraplanner, with many advisers still referring to us as glorified administrators, failed advisers or typists… (that one really hurts) but with our dedication to getting the P-word out there and educating the layman via graduate schemes to the satisfying career choice of the paraplanner, it is becoming more and more recognised, both within financial circles and without, the world is learning the role of the paraplanner, is that of an essential and rewarding one.

With that in mind and with our plans for the future, I say bring on the next five years!

Jo Campbell
Winner of Best Paraplanner 2016 – Money Marketing Awards

We have spent quite a bit of time over the years looking into outsourcing, the trends, what works, what doesn’t work and how to continually improve the service we offer.

In the past we’ve found some great information gathered by companies such as Deloitte, and even the National Outsourcing Association that we have analysed to establish trends. However, we wanted to be more bespoke and compile our own research on outsourcing in Financial Services, both in terms of finance specific roles, and the outsourcing of general business processes.

We’ve put together a really short survey ( it won’t take more than a couple of minutes!) for advisers, on your experiences and thoughts on outsourcing. If you would like to take part simply follow the link. In return, we’ll pop you into our prize draw to potentially win a really nice bottle of bubbly.


Best Paraplanner

Para-Sols are delighted to announce that our very own Jo Campbell has been awarded Best Paraplanner 2016 at this years Money Marketing Awards recently held in London. Jo was shortlisted after attending a panel interview, where she answered questions on her job role, company and the industry.

Despite facing stiff competition, Jo and Para-Sols were chosen as “the judges were particularly impressed with the firm’s drive not only to promote the profession within financial services, but to look beyond the horizon of the industry by linking with universities and establishing a programme to recruit graduates.”

The award comes at a great time for Jo, who is the company’s longest running employee and recently celebrated her 5th anniversary. During that time, she has completed her Diploma in Financial Planning, Certificate in Mortgage Advice and is currently studying for Certified Financial Planning status. In addition to this, Jo also manages the day to day running of the team and the integration of new starters on the Para-Sols graduate scheme.

In this months meet the team, we quiz our Trainee Paraplanner Simon…

Favourite Album…
808s & Heartbreak / Kanye West

Favourite Film…
Role Models

If you were a chocolate bar what would you be…
Dairy Milk Caramel

Your ultimate holiday destination…
Fiji/Samoa (Any Pacific Island really)

If you could have one superpower what would it be…
Time Control

My team would describe me as….

What would your last meal be…

If you were stranded on a desert island what 1 item would you take…
Hair Gel

Favourite word…

Most hated word…

Most often heard saying…
Do you know how much sugar is in that?

Favourite Actor…
Adam Sandler

Favourite Book…
I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan

Life Motto…
If we didn’t laugh, we’d cry