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 RYAN MCCAUGHEY CFP®, HEWETT WEALTH 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? This is my second year of participating in the FPI Financial Planner of the Year competition. Last year, I made it through to round two as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey, the process and competing against like-minded individuals within the financial planning community. Over the last two years, we have refined our business systems by incorporating some of the key financial planning principles and processes and adjusting our written proposal structures to focus more clearly on the six-step financial planning process. Two key roles that I place significant importance on were confirmed during the application process, namely 1) that a stringent and regular review process plays a vital role in the success of a financial plan, and 2) active participation in our investment committee to enhance my ability to provide up-to-date and comprehensive investment advice to clients. Having formed an integral part in growing Hewett Wealth to where it is today and making it through to the final round of FPI Financial Planner of the Year highlights the hard work that we have put in to establish a financial planning practice that I am extremely proud of. I feel that the industry will benefit from our tried-andtested processes and procedures. Do you believe that the process of selection can be improved in any way? I understand the severe impact Covid-19 has had on everyone’s business from a financial and operating perspective, so I must commend the FPI for managing to keep this annual competition running. Other than timeline communication, I thoroughly enjoyed the application process, presenting my comprehensive financial plan, and the process of running through the operations of my business systems and methods during the site visit. I look forward to sharing my views during the panel discussion. What are the changes that you would like to see in the financial planning industry? Building a truly independent, professional financial planning and advisory business should always start with the client in mind – a clear focus on ensuring exceptional outcomes for clients over the long term and delivering an all-inclusive client experience. I would like to see a greater emphasis placed on professionalism (Certified Financial Planner®) when dealing with clients’ financial affairs. Secondly, I would like to see the industry move towards a more sustainable and mutually beneficial business model, including the move away from the upfront revenue model. Lastly, access to financial advice for lower-income groups and appropriately costed models to meet their needs. Historically these models have been costly, turning individuals away from saving for the future What are your long-term objectives – including those on diversity and inclusion? When Hewett Wealth was established in 2016, we set out to establish a truly independent, professional financial planning and advisory business focussed on ensuring exceptional outcomes for clients over the long term. We are proud of what we have achieved as a team over the last five years. We have established a truly independent advisory business, with a national footprint, without compromising the integrity of the advice process and client experience. We would like to cater for the diverse South African population in the long term and we would love our “employee make-up” to reflect the same. However, given the size of our business, the short-to-medium focus is to grow my branch in Cape Town and ultimately expand our reach with a focus on our target market. Key focus areas highlighted for growth are as follows: • Scaling advice through technology to allow our employees to focus on providing our clients with the comprehensive value proposition and review process they have become accustomed to. • Continually enhancing our value proposition and product offering for the ever-changing financial climate. • Hiring employees to enhance our expected growth. • Building on service provider and financial advisor community relationships. Ryan McCaughey CFP®, Executive Head: Western Cape, Hewett Wealth Blue Chip wishes the three finalists the best of luck!

It truly starts with you In 2006, it was all about winning, receiving an award, and being recognised as the top in the country. That focus and mission turned out to be a bit of a disappointment at the time, but probably the biggest and best lesson for me. I attended my company’s annual conference in 2006 and, sitting in the audience watching the top 10 consultants receiving their awards, I told myself, “That’s going to be me next year.” Lo and behold, in 2007 I made it to the top 10. I had achieved my goal. My award and recognition were imminent. The disappointment All areas of the business came together for the conference at Sun City. There I was, in my tux, excited beyond measure. I mean, the awards event was held in the Superbowl. What a moment. It then took a turn. There were so many people, most of whom were chatting while the awards were being announced. We weren’t called onto the stage, but rather asked to stand up at our table when our names were called. I was behind a rather large table decoration. No-one knew who I was, or even that my name had been called. I was devastated. My moment had been denied me. The lesson It was only many years later that I realised that the reason I had been disappointed was because I had set my sights on the wrong things for the wrong reasons. It was only then that I was able to let go of the disappointment. I realised that focusing on doing good work, doing the right thing, and serving others is where the real satisfaction comes in. If you’re recognised for that, then you know it was truly deserved. If your focus is on winning an award, what is left after you have done that? What you can do is continue to do great work, make a positive impact on other people’s lives, and make a difference, simply because you live out your calling, your passion, and your purpose. The journey since 2015 It was only in about 2015 that I managed to figure out my calling. I began to focus on creating learning content for financial planners, so as to equip them with the necessary technical financial planning skills. As the offering and library of content grew, I started offering CPD-accredited content, and in 2017, I launched an online learning platform. I kept creating content. In 2019, I launched the PROpulsion Podcast to bring fresh interviews with a variety of guests that would help financial planners even more. March 2020: A turning point In March 2020, when President Ramaphosa announced that South Africa was going into level-5 lockdown, my world came crashing down. I was stressed and I thought that it was the end of my business. What was I to do? I couldn’t stop it, neither could I change it. Inspired by someone I watched on YouTube, I thought that the best thing to do was something that would take my mind off what I couldn’t control, and where the outcome was uncertain. I decided to go live on my YouTube channel every day as long as lockdown was in place. Twenty-one days became 35 days, became 49 days, and eventually, 75 days. When we moved to level 3, I went live twice a week, and as we moved to lower levels, once a week. The show is still going live every week, and we’ve produced and broadcast more than 150 episodes of superior quality content for financial planning businesses. It’s not about me, but it started with me The audience grew, and at some point, it evolved from an audience to a community. The show brought people together, and they started supporting each other through the very difficult time. So many people stepped up and introduced me to other people, to guests, to new ideas. I made a promise that I would show up every day, no matter what. That promise led to a place I never expected, and I am eternally grateful for everything that transpired as a result. When the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa recognised me for the role that I played over the years in helping advisors and furthering the Certified Financial Planner® designation through the “It Starts with Me” award, it was a great honour and totally unexpected. The biggest lesson When we take the focus off our own self, our needs, our aspirations, and our goals, and we set out to make things better for and inspire others, that’s when we unlock a whole new world, new experiences, and a greater level of satisfaction. Receiving this award was incredibly special, but it belongs to everyone who opened doors for me, who support me, who allow me to do what I do, and who keep me going. I appreciate every one of you. Francois du Toit, Director, PROpulsion Podcast I made a promise that I would show up every day, no matter what.

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