The average person has heard the terms “financial advisor” and “financial planner.” But many have never heard of a paraplanner. When new clients see my title, they sometimes wonder what it is that I do and how I can help them. The truth is, the best financial advisors typically use the help of a paraplanner. Let me explain.
A paraplanner typically works under the direction of a senior financial planner and performs several of the necessary tasks in developing a financial plan.
I say that some of the best financial advisors in Greenville, SC use the help of a paraplanner, because it allows us to better manage each account. I believe that it’s just like utilizing our in-house attorney and accountant – when a firm can offer full financial services under one roof, clients are able to receive a more comprehensive financial plan, as all experts involved in their financial plans can work together and on the same goals.
In my role with Global View Investments, I work alongside our advisors in managing client relationships and special financial planning needs, including retirement transition, education and estate planning.
I love helping clients plan for their future and then see these clients achieve the goals they have worked toward.
I personally began working in the financial advisory business after graduating from the University of Georgia with my bachelor’s in Financial Planning in 2015. I competed in the National Financial Planning Student Challenge in 2014, and was awarded the United Capital Outstanding Student Award.
I involved in Habitat for Humanity as a financial assessor and doing homes visits. I do Financial Assessments at United Ministeries.
As you can see, I take my job seriously.
As fiduciary fee-only financial planners, Global View has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of our clients. We don’t take commissions on any products we recommend so that we avoid even the perception of any conflicts of interest.
Since paraplanners are still relatively new in the U.S., I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of my duties and responsibilities and how this all benefits the investor.
In short, for us, a paraplanner benefits you and your financial plan, because I am able to help your financial advisor provide you with better service without increasing our fees.
What is a Paraplanner?
You might be familiar with paralegals. They are junior members of a law firm who are knowledgeable about legal issues and spend their time assisting lawyers. Similarly, paraplanners are junior-level members of a financial planning practice whose job is to help senior financial planners.
Paraplanners usually have bachelor’s degrees in financial planning, accounting or finance, and all should understand the ins and outs of financial planning.
It is important to emphasize that although paraplanners work in more junior roles, they are not secretaries. They have gone through years of education and training in order to be in the position to help senior financial planners service clients. As a result, the work that they do is in-depth and highly specialized with one goal in mind: To ensure that clients stay on the right track to reach their financial planning goals.
Duties and Responsibilities
A paraplanner’s work is often done behind the scenes.
Our paraplanners help build the foundation of a client’s financial plans by gathering and maintaining client documents and inputting them into our financial planning software. New clients will often send any necessary bank statements, brokerage accounts and tax information to their dedicated paraplanner, who is responsible for organizing each client’s file. They are also responsible for following up with clients to obtain missing or incomplete documents.
Paraplanners can also review a client’s current financial situation and put together a model that forecasts various possible future financial outcomes. These models help recommend how client assets should be allocated and what kind of changes clients should make in their everyday finances.
Often times, a paraplanner will also help explain reports to each client. I may prepare a chart or graph, like this one for getting started, to help a client better understand a report. A clear and concise presentation is crucial in helping a client make an informed decision on how to move forward with a financial plan.
After a financial plan has been put in place, paraplanners can take client calls and answer questions quickly and effectively. For questions that require research and cannot be answered immediately, our paraplanners are very capable of doing the bulk of the research and then reviewing answers with senior financial planners.
Lastly, whenever a client has new information that changes the trajectory of a financial plan, paraplanners can take the lead in making those updates.
Does a Paraplanner Cost More?
You might rightfully think that having an additional person working on your financial planning team will end up costing you more in term of fees. However, this is not necessarily true. In fact, in many cases, the opposite can be true. The helpful second set of eyes can even lower your fees.
When you’re ready to work with a financial advisor Greenville SC, ask if he or she uses a paraplanner. Financial planners who bring paraplanners on board most likely have a full roster of happy clients. As a result, they invest in hiring paraplanners to help keep their clients happy.
Ultimately, financial planners hire knowledgeable paraplanners with the goal of helping their clients achieve maximum benefit while maintaining minimum fees. It results in a process that allows all parties involved to utilize their time more efficiently.
In the end, everyone wins. Your paraplanner gains invaluable experience in the financial planning process. Your financial planner has more time to handle the complexities of your unique financial situation. And, most importantly, you as the client receive more undivided attention from your financial planner without having to pay additional fees in the process.
If you have any questions for me specifically, you can contact me here.