I am currently two months into the two-year Financial Planning Graduate Scheme at TPO to become a qualified financial planner. The first year consists of two rotations. My first rotation is in the paraplanning team where I currently write client reports for advisers. The second rotation is 10 weeks long within the investment team which I am excited to join in order to gain a greater understanding of how the team works and learn more about the type of investment products I will be recommending to clients in the future.
In my second year, I will become a Financial Planning Associate where I will work more closely with the advisers which will help me gain a greater understanding of what it’s like to work as an adviser.
I try to make sure that I get into the office at around 08:40 so I can settle in, chat with my colleagues, and discuss any changes in the world of finance. At 09:00, I’ll typically have a quick 15-30 minute meeting with my team where we discuss our current workloads and make projections as to when we predict we will have our reports finished.
I will then spend some time checking my current open cases and deciding which ones are a priority to work on. This work can include familiarising myself with a case that I have just been given, or having a 15-30 minute case conference with an adviser in order to make sure I fully understand all the details of a case. After that, I will begin writing the report to the advisers’ specifications and send it off to them for checking.
When I first joined, I had 1-hour training sessions every day along with the other graduates and our experienced paraplanner trainer in order to get us up to speed and teach us how to write our reports. After our first few weeks, these training sessions were reduced to once a week as we gained more experience. We are supported by our paraplanner trainer as well as our other colleagues whenever we have questions or need some help with our cases at any point during the day. The culture at TPO is very social and everyone is willing to give a helping hand whenever one is needed.
We are given the flexibility to take our 1-hour lunch at any time during the afternoon, which I usually spend in the office or out with colleagues in the city. I will then continue my report-writing in the afternoon and leave work at 17:00. When I get home, I spend some time revising for my CII Diploma in Financial Planning which I am grateful to have study support, including tuition fee sponsorship, from TPO. Then I am free to enjoy my evening and look forward to the next day!
Written by Jake De La Cour, Financial Planning Graduate 2022