Academy of Life Planning and The Financial Freedom Forecaster

The Academy of Life Planning now offers a digital end-to-end non-intermediating financial planning ‘off the peg business in a box’ for a global network of advisers, as featured in the article in New Model Adviser in March 2020. And, endorsed by the Kinder Institute on Twitter. It’s called The GAME Plan Generator.

Academy of Life Planning (AoLP) the world’s first non-intermediating financial planning adviser support network has launched in partnership with Envizage a WEALTHTECH100 winner in 2020, a customer-centric lifetime cash flow planning tool, as part of The Financial Freedom Forecaster.

Why might you be interested?

Perhaps you are a regulated financial adviser, facing the prospect of a second wave pandemic hitting new business income, with the regulator raising the bar on their fees and your capital adequacy whilst questioning the decency on recurring revenues.

Possibly your centralised investment proposition is being questioned during this economic crisis, and clients are increasingly benchmarking the higher returns from Vanguard direct after fees.

Potentially nine in ten prospects don’t have sufficient investable assets to be suitable as a client.

Imagine this. If as a consequence of us working together I or we could deliver to you …

Three months from now. You are looking back on a successful Masterclass, with an audience of 100 attendees each paying £495. Your digital proposition is fully scalable. Your webinar provides generic advice and financial education on, “Sensible Money: an evidence-based investment philosophy”. Through a self-directed journey of exploration, a Sparrow Capital fund on Fidelity can be viewed on Moneyhub, matched against an Oxford Risk budget, and modelled on Envizage to show the impact on future cash flows, and integrated into an AoLP financial plan, with the GAME Plan generator. By every attendee in a journey of self-exploration, all at the same time.

How would that feel?

Together we can do this …

This month’s launch from AoLP makes The GAME Plan Generator into a fully scalable digital end-to-end customer-centred financial planning experience.

The Financial Freedom Forecaster is the third of four parts of The GAME Plan Generator. The four parts are:

Goals: The Significant STORIES System: A multi-dimensional goals setting tool.

Actions: The Blockbuster ROADMAP: A project planning tool.

Means: The Financial Freedom Forecaster: A lifetime cashflow forecasting application.

Execution: The Stand & DELIVER Game Giver: A business planning tool and personal coaching.

This is the end-to-end digital delivery system of generic advice and financial education for planning firms who are members of the Academy of Life Planning adviser support network.

The AoLP lifetime cash flow planning tool is now available to purchase. For friends and supporters, a direct buy 100 months for £500 is available. For further details please visit our SHOP.

Digital is the new normal:

  • Coronavirus crisis 2020 accelerated digital delivery of financial advice
  • The pandemic has stress-tested digitalisation
  • Advisers have been forced to adopt digital channel delivery
  • Heightened financial and physical threats to the public increases demand
  • Growing acceptance and comfort with digital services
  • The wealthy expect the future wealth management relationships to be digital
  • Personal interaction still important for most
  • Growing support for fee-only financial coaching services
  • Opportunity to advise at scale for older millennials (29 to 59) and Gen X (40 to 54) who prefer on-line access and believe it results in better quality engagement.

See Digital Advice Trend Accelerates, by Robin Powell.

Because personal recommendations are excluded from the non-intermediating financial planning (NIFP) process, The GAME Plan can be delivered digitally to individuals and groups:

  • 1-to-1
  • 1-to-many
  • 0-to-many

Which makes NIFP a fully scalable digital solution for planning firms.

When did the digital NIFP process become fully scalable?

The market changed in the UK in January 2020. Investment returns became commoditised as Vanguard entered into the pensions market, mutual fund distributors began to struggle to add value. When distribution became commoditised, the opportunity arose for advice to separate as a service in its own right. For advice to stop carrying distribution.

Advice separated from distribution legally in Australia in 2019 and India in 2020.

This series of events, combined with trends in digital delivery, led to the birth of the global non-intermediating financial planning movement in March 2020, at the same time as the start of the covid-19 pandemic. A perfect storm to sink any UK adviser-distributor model.

Until recently the main obstacle to delivering a full end-to-end digital experience in NIFP was the lifetime cash flow forecast. All existing systems have been distributor-centric, that is built with the distributor in mind. While customer APIs have been introduced on some distributor platforms, e.g. Voyant GO, in practice these are far too complicated for end users.

Along came Envizage. Envizage have launched a simpler customer-centred lifetime cash flow forecast solution. Envizage, a WEALTHTECH 100 for 2020 firm, has partnered with the Academy of Life Planning (AoLP) to deliver this outside of an enterprise environment. See details of the Envizage/ AoLP partnership.

AoLP is the world’s first non-intermediating financial planner (NIFP) adviser support network. At AoLP, there is a wall between advice and distribution. AoLP delivers advice and leaves distribution decisions to the client; to choose either a mutual fund distributor or access to a D2C platform.

Adviser versus adviser-distributor, the conflicted cash-cow:

  • In the UK, two-thirds of mutual funds remain adviser-distributed, one-third via D2C platforms. In other markets, the D2C channel market share is far higher.
  • Adviser-distributors run conflicted remuneration models; 90% of advisers tap into the asset to charge c.1% based fees on the wealthy via wealth management products (fee income at risk in UK £5bn pa).
  • Wealth management products manage wealth for the wealthy; none create wealth for the unwealthy. People create wealth, not products. Unwealthy people need plans, not products.
  • Adviser-distributors just sell products. 90% of adviser-distributors run their own centralised wealth management products, studies show these fail to add value after charges compared to markets[i]. Direct schemes fetch far higher returns than distributor schemes, as intermediary fees cramp NAV.
  • All adviser-distributors are, by definition, agents of wealth managers. All wealth managers also tap into the asset to charge percentage-based fees. 90% of product providers are active managed and evidenced-based investor studies show these too fail to beat passive managed after fees, passive solutions are available for a tenth of the price.
  • Adviser-distributor thresholds are typically set at £100k of investible assets. 95% of people are disintermediated on account of their limited wealth, what the unwealthy need is wealth not products. Plans not products. Wealth creation plans. Business plans for side hustles, at a time when entrepreneurs have greater income security than employees.
  • Adviser-distributors can’t work digitally as agencies require wet signatures.
  • Adviser-distributors can’t scale, as each case requires a suitable personalised recommendation delivered 1-to-1, time is limited therefore the business is limited.
  • The regulatory risk is rising for adviser-distributor firms. Regulators globally are splitting advice and distribution, seeing the conflicts, seeing it as an incomplete transition from product seller to professional adviser. Example, Australia 2019, India 2020, etc.
  • Post-split, largest channel for distribution of mutual funds is D2C platform, e.g. India 48%.
  • Evidencing a global shift from adviser distributed funds to platform distributed funds, and a shift from active to passive managed funds. This has led to an increase in demand for NIFP.

The AoLP end-to-end digital proposition

The AoLP end-to-end digital proposition of integrated platforms is as follows:

  1. Non-Intermediating Financial Planning using The GAME Plan Generator of The Academy of Life Planning Limited, integrated with a lifetime cash flow engine.
  2. Customer-centred lifetime cash flow forecaster using Envizage, integrated with an open banking platform.
  3. Using open banking provider Moneyhub, and risk profiling from Oxford Risk.
  4. Integrated investment platform from D2C platforms market, e.g. Fidelity, integrated with Moneyhub.
  5. Underlying passive retail multi-asset investments e.g., Vanguard or Sparrow Capital listed on D2C platforms.

This is our fully scalable digital end-to-end customer journey.

Other services from AoLP

AoLP is a network of non-intermediating financial planners around the world who share our philosophy. If you are an adviser or adviser firm seeking affiliation please get in touch. If you would like to be put in touch with an AoLP member firm in your area, drop us a line to tell us, briefly, where you live, what stage of life you’re at, and what you’re looking for from a financial plan. We’ll use this information to connect you with an adviser who can help you.

We can also be of assistance to UK victims of scams seeking investigation and asset recovery. We support individuals, companies and UK financial institutions seeking the recovery of money paid out on scam investments and recovery room frauds. One in two crimes reported in the UK are scam related. We are not lawyers, and we don’t give legal advice. But if you think that you have been adversely affected by these sorts of practices, we would be happy to put you in contact with a suitable not-for-profit asset-recovery firm. Simply email us, briefly giving details about the circumstances, and we’ll try to help you.


[i] BETTER. STRONGER. FASTER. HOW DO WE REBUILD CENTRALISED INVESTMENT PROPOSITIONS FROM HERE? A market insight report from the lang cat July 2020