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Financial Planning comes of age


Financial Planning comes of age

People should be more comfortable with using financial planners these days because of the growing professionalism within the industry.

The industry's growing maturity was highlighted at the Financial Planner of the Year Awards which was won last night by Jordi Garcia of New Zealand Financial Planning in Auckland.

The Financial Planner of the Year Awards are run by online money management magazine Good Returns ( Final judging was done by a three member panel which includes Reserve Bank deputy governor Rod Carr, Retirement Commissioner Colin Blair and financial journalist Mary Holm.

The awards are designed to promote financial planning and highlight excellence and professionalism within the industry.

The judges said the standard of entries in this year's competition was high. All three finalists were highly qualified, competent and articulate.

"It was difficult to distinguish between some very capable candidates," they said.

Fiona Judd of Broadbase Waikato was named runner-up and Graham Baker of Spicers Portfolio Management in Hamilton was third.

Judge Rod Carr says it is clear that financial planning has moved beyond being a business where advisers simply sell investments to people, to one where advisers provide a holistic money management service built around long term relationships.

Good Returns editor Philip Macalister says that there is a flight to advice. This is being caused by poor investment returns from international markets and the growing realisation that successful money management is a complex business.

He says now is an ideal time to show the public the benefits of using a financial planner.

"Investors have enjoyed nearly a decade of unprecedented double digit returns thanks to a long-running bull market in the United States.

"However, the past 12 months have been particularly tough for investors, and many have experienced losses."

Macalister says in times like this advisers can make sure their clients have suitably structured portfolios to weather the storm,

"Any one can make money when markets are going up," he says. "The difficult part is how to preserve value when markets are falling.

"Financial planners play an incredibly important role helping get their clients through the tough time with as little damage as possible," he says.

Professional financial planners can help people achieve their financial and lifetime goals, he says.

Planners who enter the Financial Planner of the Year Awards are judged on a number of criteria including;

a.. Their professionalism and competence

b.. Communications skills

c.. Knowledge of current issue

d.. Their input to the profession and the community

e.. Marketing ability and

f.. Career achievements

As part of the process entrants had to provide a plan they had written and shown how it had met the client's goals. Also the client had to provide a testimonial. Entrants also had to provide an article on why they should win the Award.

The three finalists also had to do a final interview with the judging panel yesterday.

The Awards are sponsored by: Armstrong Jones, AXA New Zealand, Guardian Trust Financial Services and Royal & SunAlliance, Perpetual Investments, Tower Managed Funds and Morningstar.


Philip Macalister Editor Good Returns Ph 07 345 6869 Ph 025-377527

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