Record attendance at PFS events
CEO Keith Richards said: “We recognised the need to evolve our professional development programme in a post-RDR landscape and ensure they were more business-relevant, to meet the needs of members and their clients.
“Coupled with a fantastic network of local committee member volunteers who add local personalisation to a centralised agenda, we have seen consistent increases across all our CPD support mechanisms.
“The addition of specialist events to enhance support in key areas of advice need, such as later life and retirement planning, have all been oversubscribed, often within hours of being announced.
“The Pensions Regulator (TPR), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), are all delivering sessions on our new Q3 regional agenda which features a balance between good practice and input from subject matter experts that our members require.”
Emphasising what Richards describes as the “new spirit of co-operation, not confrontation”, regulator-led sessions have proved extremely popular.
“The FCA began to get involved from a CPD ‘good practice’ principle during 2014,” he added. “Advisers really appreciated the opportunity to hear from them directly and interact face-to-face.
By comparison, Q2 content focused on soft skills and delved into the pros/cons of lifetime cash flow modelling and budget updates. It also highlighted the effect of the pension reforms on income planning in early retirement and offered an insightful introduction to crowdfunding.
Richards said: “Cashflow modelling was a particularly interesting inclusion, given the focus on retirement planning.
“Although advisers have mixed views on the solutions available and full modelling is not necessarily suitable for every client as it can be both time-consuming and complex to complete, there is a growing acknowledgement of its value and the use of ‘cashflow light’ versions.
“With increasing focus on volatility drag and sequencing risk – more commonly referred to as ‘pound cost ravaging’ – it is equally important to recognise the shortfalls of cashflow planning tools and some advisers would argue that Monte Carlo models provide a more effective solution as they assess risk capacity and promote more meaningful client discussion.”