Connecting the Pieces – IFP Annual Conference 2015
Last week Andrew, Matt and I attended the annual Institute of Financial Planning Conference held at Celtic Manor in Wales. Following a certain game of rugby two weeks before I was somewhat reluctant to head into enemy territory; however I was told it was ‘not to be missed’ so I swallowed my nationalist pride and made the trip down to Newport.
The three days were crammed full of high quality speakers, with talks ranging from the new pension freedoms and smart beta (the latest catchphrase in investment), to ‘the century plan’ (how to live to 100 whilst maintaining a happy and active lifestyle, a fascinating talk by Dr James Rouse). I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Andrew’s very own talk on “How to do the R.I.G.H.T thing” – dealing with ethical dilemmas in financial planning.
One of the evenings was spent with the conference’s sponsors, where we have the chance to discuss some of the latest software and products available from providers. A number of them ran competitions, of which my personal favourite was HSBC’s Formula 1 simulator where delegates attempted to drive the quickest lap around a shortened Silverstone circuit. As a keen F1 fan with a competitive streak I didn’t take much persuading to have a go and happily enough I ended the conference with the fastest time, winning a bottle of bubbly for my efforts.
One of the best aspects of the conference is the people who attend it, with everybody keen to share their best practice ideas and see the profession develop and improve. I arrived back at my desk on Thursday enthused by what I had learnt and eager to put into practice some of the useful tips I had picked up; whether it be reviewing how we present material to our clients or simply eating more almonds to top up my daily magnesium intake.
If you’re interested in hearing more about the conference and financial planning, or more importantly if you’re Ron Dennis and looking for the next Lewis Hamilton, please get in touch!