2 years ago

Blue Chip Issue 81

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Blue Chip is a quarterly journal for the financial planning industry and is the official publication of the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa NPC (FPI), effective from the January 2020 edition. Blue Chip publishes contributions from FPI and other leading industry figures, covering all aspects of the financial planning industry. Blue Chip takes this opportunity to wish the FPI a happy 40th anniversary. Congratulations!


FINANCIAL PLANNER OF THE YEAR AND THEN THERE WERE THREE The Financial Planner of the Year Award, the most prestigious award in the industry, endeavours to acknowledge extraordinary Certified Financial Planners® from across the nation who demonstrate innovation and professionalism as well as commitment to their clients. Meet the top three financial planners of 2021. HENDRIK SPIES CA (SA) CFP®, SPIES AND ASSOCIATES How has the process of applying for the Financial Planner of the Year Award benefitted your business? Have you made any significant changes to your business during the application process? I did not make any specific changes to my business during the application process. For me, the most significant benefit of going through such a rigorous process is that it made me step back and appreciate the amazing progress that my practice has made in the last years. Do you believe that the FPI can improve the selection process in any way? My greatest desire is to get more and more people into the industry and qualify as CFP® professionals. I suppose emphasis could be placed on training and mentoring as part of the criteria for selection. In that case, I believe it will motivate successful CFP® professionals to assist younger aspiring professionals in obtaining a CFP® professional qualification and ultimately becoming part of this wonderful competition and organisation. What are the changes that you would like to see in the financial planning industry? I would like to see better education of financial planning and the industry at schools. If children are educated about the financial planning industry while they are young, I do not doubt that it will ultimately lead to a perception of professionalism and attract strong candidates to the industry. What are your long-term objectives – including those on diversity and inclusion? In 2018, I built and started a primary school with two of my clients. We started with nothing and built a school where more than 120 children are currently receiving the highest quality education. This made me realise that one of my most important long-term objectives is to deliver good-quality education to South African youngsters regardless of their economic background, race or gender. Another objective of mine, which goes hand-in-hand with my passion for education and the training of youngsters, is the involvement of more junior advisors in my practice. When a new junior advisor joins my practice, I always discuss the importance of education in general, and the CFP® professional qualification in particular. I also make my office and staff available at no cost to junior advisors to give them a headstart in the industry. I chair a national advisors’ forum for over 2 000 advisors, where I always aim to share my experiences and methods with other advisors, especially young advisors so that more and more clients can receive quality advice. I see it as a “pay-it-forward” system, where the circle of inclusion continues to grow to the benefit of everyone, including advisors and our clients. I really hope that I can make a positive difference in people’s lives. My father started working as a financial advisor more than 40 years ago, and I am genuinely in love with this wonderful industry, and my passion for financial advice, advisors and our clients is in my blood. I like to have a positive outlook on life; I also do like to have fun and spend time with my wife, Alida, who enables me to thrive in my industry. I have three kids, Christof (four years old), Hans and Philip (both one year olds). Life with twins is always exciting with lots of time to laugh with them and teach my kids about my core values being integrity, honesty, respect and always being humble. Hendrik Spies, Certified Financial Planner®, Spies and Associates 26

FINANCIAL PLANNER OF THE YEAR there is room for improvement. So, for me, it has been a fantastic journey to find what the values are that I want to hold at the centre of everything I do and then build a vision for our clients, our practice and what I want to contribute to the financial planning community. Do you believe that the process of selection can be improved in any way? In a digital age, the process can be streamlined a lot more by digitising the application process. There are some “mental barriers” for people to enter because they think their practice needs to be “perfect” before entering. I think the action of entering (or deciding to enter) puts you on a path to really delve deep into best practice standards and starts a process of continual improvement in your practice that sets you up to move from a good to an amazing practice. So, what can be improved is a message to encourage financial planners to start the journey because what you learn along the way is priceless. What are the changes that you would like to see in the financial planning industry? While there have been some great improvements in the way clients are being charged fees, I think we can do better to align services delivered with fees charged to clients. Something great that is starting to emerge is that more and more financial planners are learning skills to coach and upskill clients to make better financial decisions and even change the way they think about, and the associations they make with money. Financial planning is key to help education, but a big part of the population has very limited or no access to financial education or financial planners. I would love to see technology being used to give everyone access to basic financial education. HENRI LE GRANGE CFP®, LE GRANGE AND ASSOCIATES How has the process of applying for the Financial Planner of the Year Award benefitted your business? Have you made any significant changes to your business during the application process? When applying for a competition where you know you will be measured against the best financial planners in the country and the highest practice standards internationally, I was forced to look at everything our practice does critically and see where What are your long-term objectives – including those on diversity and inclusion? I want our practice to become one of the best in the country for clients to work with while adhering to the highest professional standards and continually improving our clients’ financial positions through excellent financial planning. I want to empower all financial professionals from all different backgrounds to build better businesses and achieve better outcomes for their clients. I would like to build bigger and better communities within the financial services profession between people from all backgrounds to better understand and learn from each other. I want to use technology to give more people access to financial education. Henri le Grange, Certified Financial Planner®, Le Grange and Associates 27

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