Diary of an IFA: Tina Weeks

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Monday

I spend a day in the office tackling my long to-do list. First job is to restore ‘inbox zero’ status which is easy now we use ‘gmail’ apps.

I then spend a couple of hours putting together a detailed proposition for a new GPPP and then send Cathi, my paraplanner two new cases I need her to prepare; a new pension comparison case and an update to a financial plan. Plus, I send her everything she needs so that she can fully prepare everything I need for a client meeting on Thursday. I send out a proposal email to a new client and realise I have been going non-stop all day. The kids are safely deposited with my mum as Darren and I are out at a dinner party tonight.

Tuesday

Despite a late night last night I am out the door by 7am to get to Oxford in time for the Institute of Financial Planning’s CFP conference. I am there representing the IFP events committee as I am not actually a CFP myself yet.

It was a fantastic day with superb content. Well worth the trip. I am doing my CFP exam over the summer so hopefully I will attend as a CFP in my own right next year, determined not to miss the next one.

I picked up a few nuggets and I will use what I have learned to make positive changes within the business. I even managed quite a bit of tweeting too which has been sparse lately. The day ended up with a lovely dinner for all the delegates and after some great conversation it was off to bed for me.

Wednesday

I drove back from Oxford, arriving back in the office mid-morning. I had loads of post to catch up with and ‘inbox zero’ restored once again with minimal effort. Signed up for ‘remember the milk’ and will use that as my task list from now on. It seems pretty good and I love the way it syncs with my iPhone and iPad.

I went with the husband to do the school run and the kids were very excited to see me after my trip.

Thursday

I was up early to be at the Vanguard symposium in Tower Hill for 8.45am. Really good sessions but also a great opportunity to meet up with other advisers and share ideas.

I have only a couple of hours afterwards to get some work done and also to familiarise myself with the prep Cathi has done for my client appointment at 6.30pm today. I make sure I spend time going through the answers to their three questions too as I am planning to do a combined vision and obstacles meeting tonight.

I then rush off to Curzon St for a meeting with the Project Eve gang and UBS. We are discussing making project Eve a charity and UBS have got Paul Palmer (a highly regarded figure in the area of philanthropy and charity work) in to talk to us about it. We decide that it is the best way forward.

I leave the meeting early and run to the Moorgate office for my client meeting. It turned out to be a fantastic meeting where once again I marvel at the positive impact that life planning has on my clients. I do not get back home till 9.30 and the kids are already asleep, so a quick dinner then bed for me.

Friday

The day did not start off too well as I got the news that I failed AF3. I am completely gutted as I felt so confident about it. It reminded me of a Mike Tyson quote I heard at the Vanguard Conference yesterday: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”. I have passed R01, R04 and CF8 so far this year. I guess it will take a little bit longer to get Chartered now but there is no giving up.

I spent all afternoon with 18 other registered life planners, or RLPs, discussing how we were going to form a group where we could share ideas and best practice but also support and encourage each other in our life planning work.

Bruce Wilson and I suggested to the group that instead of forming a new group we merge the new group with Project Eve. Everyone was very enthusiastic and we decided to call the new group the Financial Life Planning Foundation.

Perfectly timed, I get a welcome email from Jaime who does my website with a preview or our new marketing video. It is great and I am really excited about it.

We then all move on the IoD in Pall Mall for the graduation ceremony of the two latest groups of registered life planners, with certificates being handed out by George Kinder himself. It was a wonderful evening full of passion and excitement for Financial Life Planning and I went home with renewed energy and enthusiasm.