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.


Potential Back End System for Non-Intermediating Financial Planners

The Academy of Life Planning attempts to solve industry-wide issues for Non-Intermediating Financial Planners. Because we are the only Non-Intermediating Financial Planning adviser support network. Here’s an example, your back-office system. As a special deal for AoLP members. Would your clients pay £5 per month for member level access to all their finances, with all the tools, on a system that can be shared with multiple advisers? Let me know your views.

The Issue:

Adviser Workstations, Cash Flow Modellers, and integrations with market participant platforms for instant portfolio valuations across GIAs, ISAs, Pensions, Savings and Deposit balances, the solutions are all adviser led experiences.

What the emerging post GDPR, potential adviser-distributor splitting, etc, market needs is a Customer led experience.

Data exists once. Sits with the client. To share with one adviser after another.

Not as current. Data sits with adviser. Customers are churned from adviser to adviser, platform to platform, with expensive data re-entry every time, and vast numbers of orphaned accounts for the disintermediated.

The Solution:

Envizage has an integration with Moneyhub a key partner of theirs. Their approach is customer led not advisor led. The plan belongs to the customer. The advisor supports the customer not vice versa. Data belongs to the customer not the advisor (GDPR). 

Envizage would be happy to work with AoLP to come up with a price and systems architecture that would work if there can be some minimum adoption numbers within our membership. They are keen on that. Their enterprise pricing model is per end user customer, not per advisor seat.

Have a play with a basic stripped down demo app at

Run through a few cases and tell me what you think.

About Envizage:

Envizage is featured in the 2020 WealthTech 100

Envizage is featured in Capgemini’s World Retail Banking Report 2019 (see pp. 10, 14, 22, 34)

Envizage is the only startup to feature in Capgemini’s World Wealth Report 2018 (see p.34)

Our U.K. regulatory white paper discusses how Envizage can deliver both guidance and advice

Read about the Envizage partner ecosystem and the 21 firms in it

Further Info:

Moneyhub is by far the most comprehensive in the UK market. They tried them, Moneyinfo and about 10 other providers before choosing Moneyhub for their first UK integration (they can support others).

They have direct links into all of the platforms, and this covers 80% of UK pension assets. The likes of SJP, HL, II will not support API connects for commercial reasons, so other tech solutions must be used there.

Our view was that Moneyhub are by far the best as of today and subject to the technical constraints of the provider side of the equation.

Please could you give us a price that could work for you, on a “per end-customer per month” basis? 

Over time I’d like to lower pricing as we raise money and gain more members. 

We have been asked to treat India separately. Sorry. If we need the economics for India to be different they understand and would be happy to fit our paradigm. Envizage are quite keen to serve that market. 

Their standard pricing (for large enterprises) is as follows: 

Unique End Users/Month Per User Per Month

0 – 5,000 £5

5,001 – 10,000 £4

10,001 – 50,000 £3

50,001 – 100,000 £2

> 100,000 £1

A “user” refers to the end customer or client, not the advisor. These tiers are cumulative so If you have 7,000 unique users/month you would pay £5 for the first 5,000 (= £25,000) plus £4 for the next 2,000 (= £8,000) for a total bill that month of £33,000 for the 7,000 users (or £4.71 per user). 

If you can work with this table and modify the £ values so that it works for you, that would be great. Envisage would imagine no IFA would have 5,000+ clients but they would think of it for AOLP members as a whole rather than for each individual member.

If the base tier were substantial enough, then they would probably offer to iterate and add functionality (especially the type of stuff that we think is more universally applicable) without extra costs. Typically, they pass through the cloud hosting charges (which can add around £2,000-4,000/month) but they are happy to absorb those to start with. 

They requested that we get to a quick conclusion. They have just started a big piece of work to improve their demo web app ( and are keen to include our input into their roadmap if possible. It will save them wasted work. That roadmap includes integrations with Moneyhub and Oxford Risk as well, and they can talk to the partner about a sensible commercial offer for AOLP’s benefit. 

Let me know your thoughts. Would your clients pay £5 per month for this?

Why Product Sellers Don’t Make The Best Life Planners

Product sellers, or product advisers, in general want to plug into your assets and charge a fee. If you have no assets to offer them, they can’t figure out how they are going to get paid. If your assets are a residential property portfolio, for example. And your finances are messy, and you need to figure out your tax liability. They won’t help you.

If you are a reader of “Millionaire Expat: How To Build Wealth Living Overseas”, a book by Andrew Hallam, and you want confirmation that your DIY investment strategy using ETFs and index funds is sensible. They won’t help you.

Those few that will help you may offer you a life plan on a fee-for-service basis, that is some cash flow modelling and tax advice. But they will be burning to run your money for you to plug into your assets and charge their fee. They can’t help themselves but to mention it with pursed lips and a shaking head.

You see, product sellers make poor life planners. Here’s why.

No product creates wealth.

Products manage wealth.

Products are only suitable for the wealthy.

Ask the product seller for their investable asset threshold if you don’t believe me.

You have to be wealthy to begin with, to be a client of a product seller; for them to plug into your assets and charge a fee.

For the wealthy a life plan is merely a plan for how to spend their money.

Now for those who aren’t wealthy, what use is a product seller?

Now take a look at the client adviser, the life planner, the non-intermediating financial planner. They offer a service whereby they can drop into your lifetime cash flow a three-year business plan for the business of you to create wealth.

No product is sold.

Simply, a wealth creation strategy is dropped into the life plan.

Now, the service is extremely useful for those who aren’t wealthy.

Ten years ago, when I graduated with my RLP from the Kinder Institute of Life Planning, I could never figure out how product selling came into the conversation in the Knowledge part of EVOKE. It seemed disconnected.

Here, let’s talk for several meetings about your life. Several meetings in, today we are going to talk about products! Huh!! We called it putting in place the financial architecture to support the life plan. But, here’s the thing …

… the products don’t put in place the financial architecture, the client does.

What I mean by that is, the products run the financial architecture – as one Telegraph reader puts it “for the stupid and rich” – the client’s entrepreneurial spirit and industry puts in place the money.

That’s what is missing.

The adviser should be selling plans, not products.

There should be a wall between advice and product.

Otherwise the life plan is merely a spending plan for the rich and stupid.

There is a case for life planning for the wealthy. But, I’m not sure any fee-driven sales person would see it. For they may not have it within themselves.

Here is the missing point …

The wealthy are self-actualising, as American psychologist Abraham Maslow put it. That is, they are at the point of being the best they can be. Maslow discovered a higher need in the last years of his life. That is self-transcendence. Where you are thinking bigger than yourself, about creating something that will be long remembered after you have passed. A legacy. Making the world a better place for you having lived.

The late Dr. Wayne Dyer called this transition from self-actualisation to self-transcendence, “the Shift”. He said it happened in the afternoon to the evening of our lifetime. Where previously we had pursued wealth and knowledge, past this shift our goals are about service to others.

As Christians put it, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4.10).

For the wealthy, the life planner explores life purpose.

Knowing yourself, life becomes worth living.

And death less painful.

Now, this service is extremely useful for those who are wealthy.

As my good friend George Kinder once said:

“There should be a wall, between advice and products, between advice and large institutions, and between our regulators and large institutions. We need an integrity that is impeccable. Until we actually institute a way of bringing good heart, great integrity and a fiduciary relationship that is sustainable into the industry, we are going to fail. We have to make this change, and we have to make it now.”

At the Academy of Life Planning we are faith neutral and faith friendly. We work with different values and perspectives in a respectful and sensitive way.

If you want to become a non-intermediating financial planner contact us today to find out how the Academy of Life Planning can help you.

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No Cash, No Problem: 44 Ways to Boost Your Finances When You Have Little or No Savings

Do you want to make some extra cash legitimately and quickly? Learn how you can pocket extra income with our 44 money-making tips. You know that ‘rainy day’ people save for? Well for most that day is now. But most households have little or no savings. If that is you, read on.

Here’s the thing. No financial products create wealth. Only people create wealth. Avoid financial product salespeople and create your own wealth instead.

1. Create a Side Hustle from your hobbies and interests and make money from it online.

One way to increase your income is with a side hustle. This will likely start out as something that you do part-time while you are still working at your original job, with our help, you may be able to grow it into something that you do full-time. 

Find something that you love and that you are good at and try to start working at it. Start a blog or online business. Set up a website and sell from it for less than £25 per month. Here are some other side hustles:

Answer an ad. For a local business looking for part-time help.


Dog walking or pet sitting.

If you are savvy with computers and coding, you may be able to charge £50 or more per hour helping businesses with their websites and social media.

Moving People. Check out for lumping gigs, help people pack, load, and move their stuff.

Catering. From selling garden produce and jams to the neighbours to being a personal chef for friends.

Handy person service. If you know how to fix leaky pipes and toilets, patch holes in walls, replace doorknobs, and do things like that, you may be able to make money by doing such small jobs for people.

If you are a musician, you might consider doing a few gigs.

Voice-over work.

Editing and proofreading.


Sewing and ironing services.

2. Check your benefit entitlements.

You may be entitled to Universal Credit or additional support through covid-19

3. Reclaim Tax Owed.

Many payments are made to you with tax deducted at source, like interest on PPI claims, payments from pensions and interest on savings. If you have low income and are a nil-rate-taxpayer you may be able to claim this back from HMRC

4. Check for lost bank accounts.

Trace lost money. This is a free service to trace lost bank accounts.

5. Trace lost pensions.

Pension tracing service, you need to be over the age of 55 to access the money.

6. Have You Ever Been Mis-sold a Financial Product?

Write and complain. Even if the adviser is no longer around, you may be entitled to compensation. See

7. Sell stuff online.




Facebook Marketplace

8. Complete paid for opinion surveys.


Valued Opinions


9. Sell photos online.




10. Become a tasker or sell services online.

Sell tasks with Taskrabbit



11. Review stuff for cash.

Music: Slicethepie

12. Rent out stuff.



13. Unlock cash on unwanted gift cards.

Sell gift cards on Card Yard

14. Refer a friend.

Get paid for referrals with Refermehappy

Or join affiliate websites

15. Enter free competitions.

Magic Freebies

Latest Free Stuff

16. Get paid to browse.



17. Test products for cash.

Paid Product Testing

18. Use money making smartphone apps.

Job Spotter Roamler Toluna Fronto Pocket Bounty Receipt Hog Swagbucks Voxpopme

19. Cash back websites & Earn from Receipts.



Quidco’s Click Snap

TopCashback’s Snap & Save

20. Mystery shop.

Mystery shoppers

Market force

21. Rent out a spare room or host a foreign student



Or rent out your home on a short-term basis.


22. Rent out your home for films.

Amazing Space

Or host photo shoots from your home.

23. Advertise on your car.


24. Make money from your driveway.



30. Get paid for spare storage.


25. Recycle old clothes.

H&M’s garment collection initiative

M&S’s Shwopping

Or sell baby clothes.

National Childbirth Trust sales


26. Sell old Lego.



Brick Owl

27. Sell old gold and jewellery.

28. Recycle print cartridges.



29. Recycle your mobile phone, tablets, Kindles, and smart watches.


Mazuma Mobile

Music Magpie

30. Recycle old CDs, DVDs and Computer Games for cash.



31. Recycle old books for cash.




But if you want the most cash for your books, check out getting rid of your old books usingBookScouter.

32. Have a car boot sale, garage sale, or yard sale.

Car Boot Junction

33. Set up your own blog with ads.

Google Adsense

34. Sell what you make online.





35. Detox your bank statement.

Check banking records for unwanted standing orders, direct debits, and periodic debit card payments. Cancel them. Apply for covid-19 payment holidays on credit cards, loans, and mortgages. Detox your weekly shop.

36. Sell Your Property. Downsize your house. Sell unwanted second properties. Downsize your car or other assets.

They are inefficient as an investment from an expense, maintenance, repairs, concentration risk, taxation, insurance, and liquidity perspective. Cash flow is halted during periods when their property is un-rented. There are simpler, hassle-free, better return, less risk, less tax, less cost options.

38. Junk Hauling.

Remove other people’s junk, sell what you can using the above and tip the rest.

39. Tutor.

What you know, others want to know. Whether it is extra tuition for kids, or teaching music. Or teach online.

40. Driving.

If you like driving and have a clean car, you might try making extra money by driving for a ride-sharing service such as Uber.

41. Business Consulting or Grant Writing.

Consulting can be a way to make a meaningful sum on the side, if you have some business insights that companies will pay for. If you’ve had some success raising money through grant-writing, or if you’re willing to learn how to be a successful grant-writer, you may be able to make some good money on the side by offering your services to companies needing them.

42.Get paid to watch movies.

Do you like watching videos in your free time? Now, you can get paid for watching videos including movie previews, news, celebrity videos, and all kinds of other videos.


43. Sell your junk mail.

Do you love getting junk mail? If you’re like me, you probably don’t – that’s why we call it junk! Other than recycle, trash, or burn it in the winter what can you do with it? The Small Business Knowledge Center is a market research company that will take your junk mail and email and give you a Visa prepaid card.

44. Avoid Financial Salespeople

Avoid buying any products from banks and financial salespeople. All financial products diminish immediate wealth in return for a promise for a future benefit. None create wealth. They manage wealth or redistribute wealth. Please take regulated advice before cancelling any regular financial product payments.

These ten ideas are pointless when you have little or no savings, or worse still cost you more than you save in bank charges, punishing interest rates, and inflation loss. These ideas make you poorer today for potential savings tomorrow. Remember, in a crisis you need money now!

1. Boost your savings rate by shopping around for better interest.

2. Switch bank account for cash or vouchers.

3. Use Your ISA Allowance.

4. Cash back credit cards.

5. Premium bonds.

6. Paying off debt on credit cards, loans, and mortgages at more than minimum payments.

7. 0% purchase credit cards. These are a trap to suck you in to debt.

8. Lend your cash using p2p websites.

9. Investing for better returns.

10. Using a better fund supermarket.

If you want to become a non-intermediating financial planner for an immersive experience in a different worldview, contact us today to find out how the Academy of Life Planning can help you transition from Financial Intermediary to Non-Intermediating Financial Planning firm.

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A Different Perspective: Plan To Create Wealth, Not Take It Away!

Financial Planners. What things in your life and future would look and feel different if you chose to take a different perspective on them, to attach a different meaning to them? Take Personal Financial Planning. Imagine if we unlearnt what we learnt. What if what you’re doing is not Personal Financial Planning.

Possibly what you do, what you think is right, what you have been taught, what you are told is the international standard, that’s not personal financial planning.

Potentially where you look at the PRISM needs, protection + retirement + investment + savings and mortgage needs, that is not planning. When you do shortfall analysis or needs analysis that is not planning. Where you look to accumulate and protect during working life and crystallise and decumulate in retirement with surplus succeeded, that is not planning either. When you follow the ISO 22222 and

  • Establishing and defining the client and personal financial planner relationship.
  • Gathering client data and determining goals and expectations.
  • Analysing and evaluating the client’s financial status.
  • Developing and presenting the financial plan.
  • Implementing the financial planning recommendations.
  • Monitoring the financial plan and the financial planning relationship.

That’s not planning either.

Perhaps all of that is simply working out how to sell product.

Would not these be the ways of the product sellers?

Product selling is an exchange. The client gives you their wealth, and in return you give a piece of paper and a promise. You take away the client’s wealth, for safe keeping let’s say.

If that is the case. Product selling is where you take wealth from the client hold on to it as long as possible to take your cut. You might give it them back. You might give it to someone else.

You don’t create wealth. You simply hang on to it and deduct a fee. Here’s the thing … maybe that is not planning!

Questioning your perspective from time to time can be a good thing. It allows you to see beyond your normal habits and ruts.

Do you know what personal financial planning is?

You did it on yourself when you set up your business. You did a three-year cash flow forecast to work out how much money you would make. You did that to create  wealth for yourself.

Now do that for your client.

Not for the wealthy 5% … who already have over £100,000 thresholds of assets for you to tap into.

But for the 95% you reject in your financial planning business. The unwealthy.

I hear you say you made your client wealthy. Don’t point to your client and say you made them wealthy with your planning. You chose the wealthy. A selection bias, not an outcome of your service.

So you could have the yacht in the marina, saying look what I have done … you can do this too with my service.

Imagine if you used your personal financial planning skills to create wealth for the unwealthy.

Here you unlearn your old ways. Learn new ways.

Picture this. You place a wall between advice and product and talk to the unwealthy.

You discover that three-fifths have savings of less than £5,000, two-thirds have no life insurance or other protection cover, one-third have no private pension.

You say this is an advice gap. This is a product gap. You look at this and think more people should have product. You try to solve it. You try to sell product. STOP! That is not the way.

Imagine if product was unnecessary for the unwealthy.

What if no product creates wealth. Products manage and distribute wealth. Products diminish wealth today, with a promise for wealth tomorrow.

In the meantime. You, the product company, the taxman, deduct your fees.

Imagine if the answer was simple and staring you in the face. What if what the unwealthy need is …

… wealth.

Would you then ditch your product selling processes?

Would that not be the best thing you can do in this global economic and medical crisis?

Plan the person not the money.

Plan to create wealth for the unwealthy.

Use their values, gifts & talents, and their dreams, coupled with their entrepreneurial spirit and drive, and use you skills and knowledge to draw up a plan to create wealth for them. And, put the “Business of You” into your lifetime cash flow forecast instead of a product.

For a drastically different perspective, try non-intermediating financial planning for a few weeks or months. This will expose you to new insights, people, and experiences.

If you want to become a non-intermediating financial planner for an immersive experience in a different worldview, contact us today to find out how the Academy of Life Planning can help you transition from Financial Intermediary to Non-Intermediating Financial Planning firm.

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Post-Covid-19 Financial Planners: What would happen if there was a double peak pandemic like the Spanish Flu of 1918?

What happened 100 years ago? The Spring outbreak of influenza just over a century ago, was at 5 deaths per 1,000 persons, the Autumn outbreak was nearly five times that at almost 25, and the following year double at over 10. At its height, the Spring Covid-19 outbreak in 2020 saw mortality rates of less than a one-tenth in comparison.

What would the impact be on the financial services industry if Covid-19 followed the same mortality curve? Perhaps there would not be the same economic support package as before from the Government if we saw an October spike in 2020, how might the industry respond?

The impact of the medical emergency

The Covid-19 pandemic is causing substantial increases in mortality across populations worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, by 16th August 2020, over 770,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths have occurred worldwide. The pandemic has overwhelmed health systems in many countries, potentially leading to increases in morbidity and mortality beyond the direct impact of Covid-19 infection. These increases in mortality, both direct and indirect, have the potential to cause stagnations or declines in life expectancy.

Life expectancy at birth in Madrid (Spain) in 1987–2018 and counterfactual in 2020 (Oxford University Press).

Exclusions and premiums on insurance policies

The world has seen other epidemics like Spanish Influenza, SARS, Yellow Fever, Ebola, etc. all of which caused economic losses. So, businesses can take out a pandemic insurance policy or at least add specific clauses covering losses due to epidemics into their policy. Pandemic insurance policies have huge premiums, and therefore, many insured do not opt for such policies.

Many policies contain a force majeure clause which excludes pandemics. If there is no specific clause excluding viruses or infectious diseases, then the insured can recover losses under such a policy. Expect policies to contain more virus or pandemic exclusions on renewal.

PwC believes that it is almost certain that insurance claims will rise due to the Covid-19 crisis, especially for insurers that offer specialty lines of insurance such as travel, short-term disability, business interruptions and similar. Also, Covid-19 could also have troubling impact on other areas such as long-term care insurance lines and alter anticipated loss ratios or disabled life reserves.

Insurers will have to make tough decisions about what is covered and what is not covered in those heavily impacted areas, and in almost every product category. Such decisions can have a big impact on the public’s trust in insurance companies.

KPMG believes that the impact of the crisis on general insurers will be limited, while the impact on health insurers will vary country by country. Health insurance premiums are expected to increase in 2021 in the range of 4-40% to cover the costs of the Covid-19 affected patients.

In addition, KPMG believes that life insurers will face the most difficult challenges of all insurance sectors. This will be the case because of the extreme volatility in the financial markets where life insurers hold a large amount of assets and liabilities.

It has become harder for customers to get “on risk” for life insurance, especially if they have had any previous symptoms of Covid-19, as insurers are postponing their decision on the application for cover or declining it.

Plugging the Pension Gap

Global stock markets have plunged significantly, meaning that many pension pots have shrunk and, while the government’s new scheme to pay wages for furloughed staff will take on employer contributions, it will only pay the minimum.

Covid-19 and the lockdowns have had a big global economic effect, as well as increasing mortality. Those who transfer their pension or withdraw cash from their pension pot while asset prices are depressed by Covid-19 are losers as are members of defined benefit schemes with a deficit whose employer fails due to Covid-19.

The increased mortality from Covid-19 will have a minimal effect on pensions, for now. If economies recover to pre-Covid-19 levels, the long run effects on pensions should be small.

The prospect in the minds of the public of taking the bet on 50 years on the treadmill of work existence to buy happiness in the last 16, is not looking like such a good bet these days.

In investments, there are those clients who would have experienced deep market downturns before, so will not be that shaken. The challenge for advisers is more likely to occur with individuals who panic and rush to sell because they may be relatively new to investing or are risk averse.

People are worried about their jobs and paying bills so talking about spending more money on products has not been high on their list, according to advisers.

Advisers are experiencing a fall in enquiries translating into policies. This translates into a loss of new business income, and a greater dependency on recurring income, at a time where ongoing charges are under greater scrutiny from the regulator.

Many people will have lost loved ones during the crisis, and this is likely to make them vulnerable. Also, in periods of market instability clients are naturally more concerned about their finances.

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 effect on markets and personal finances is making people more susceptible to financial scams than ever before.

The public are being trained to be more suspicious of product sellers. This, distrust together with loss of public trust in exclusion making insurers, and bankers breaking Government promises not to take payment breaks into consideration on new lending applications, increases levels of distrust in product providers and their agents, at a time when they are already the least trusted of all industries globally.

The economic emergency

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to devastate the global economy, employers in large and small businesses are faced with a dreadful conundrum on whether to let their staff go, cut their hours, or declare them redundant. Working remotely is the new normal.

The coronavirus pandemic and the government response to its impact have had a significant effect on the UK labour market. Many businesses have ceased operating or have had to change their working practices, while recent government interventions have allowed for the furloughing of workers. In addition, the introduction of social distancing has also changed to the way individuals work or their ability to look for and find employment.

60% of the UK population now have no savings whatsoever and remain vulnerable in the event of another lockdown if the Government can no longer provide economic support.

The UK’s average unsecured debt of half average annual pay takes 25 years to pay off at minimums, loan companies and credit card companies are failing to extend payment holidays for a further three months for the majority, and look set to impose persistence debt rules next Spring; which will result in the suspension of lending facilities for many.

New data, published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), reveals that 170,000 more single parents have been forced to claim the Universal Credit benefit in the first four months since the pandemic hit. Meanwhile, 285,000 parents who are part of a couple have enrolled for the benefit since the outbreak.

The figures mean that 58% of all single parents and 10% of couple parents are now claiming Universal Credit, and charities are warning of a child poverty epidemic.

Government statistics show that overall a total of 5.5million people are now claiming Universal Credit.

The social emergency

Researchers say the increase in mental health distress during Covid-19 has resulted in a spike in emotional response, that might stabilise or reduce as people adjusted to the restrictions imposed on daily life. However, as the economic fallout from the pandemic progresses, when furloughs turn into redundancies and mortgage holidays time out, the researchers say mental health inequalities will likely widen and deepen and must be monitored closely so that steps can be taken to mitigate against a rise in mental illness.

Similar trends can also be expected in crime, violence, divorce, suicide, social unrest.

The crisis has certainly diminished quality of life, health, economic stability, and social wellbeing.

The response of the industry

Due to the impact of the crisis on people’s confidence, advisers are going to need to call on their soft skills more than ever.

A recent survey by discretionary investment manager Portfolio Metrix into what advisers regard as the most valuable elements of their service, found that soft skills scored the highest and was ranked in the top three.

Empathy was the standout winner with 76 per cent of respondents including it in their top five.

Understanding a client’s life goals secured second place with a 49 per cent hit rate, while simplify and peace of mind shared third place with 47 per cent of the votes.

It is less about wealth management and preservation. It is less about long-term products. The financial plans needed today should aim at creating short-term wealth. Creating a certain income in uncertain times. The crisis is here. The crisis is now, not in later life.

Produce a financial plan for the client. Grow their wealth, remembering that products do not create wealth, they manage wealth. Clients create wealth though their entrepreneurial spirit. Create a passive income and that solves the problem of outliving your capital.

Financial planners must sell financial plans, not products. Plans to fix the immediate financial problem. Financial planners who sell products will be increasingly distrusted. There needs to be a wall between advice and product post-Covid-19 for there to be restored confidence in the industry.

Post-Covid-19 financial planners need to be non-intermediating.

Financial planners need to be life planners. Plan the client before planning the money. Increase happiness, inspiration, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Working from home, serving clients in their home. Online. No products equal no wet signatures, so it is easier than ever to go non-intermediating.

To find out more about becoming a non-intermediating financial planner visit:

8 life regrets by architype:

N: I never felt part of this world. Being awake was never fitting in. And the world is no better a place for me having lived.

NE: I lived my life as others expected me to live, and never true to myself.

E: I was always thinking of others, and never thought of the impact that would have on myself and my ability to sustain helping others.

SE: I was always good at getting things off the ground, but I was never a completer finisher.

S: I had a material life. I was so poor, all I had was money. I never had the important things that money cannot buy, like love, respect, dignity, honour, truth, friendship.

SW: I was always quantifying everything and never really thought about the qualities that life has to offer. I never allowed myself to be happy.

W: I was always thinking of myself, as if it was all about me. I was lonely and often despised. I never kept in touch with friends, I did not think it was that important.

NW: I worked too hard.

Contact us today to find out how the Academy of Life Planning can help you transition from Financial Intermediary to Non-Intermediating Financial Planning firm.

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The Productive Cycle: How to design the elements of a Non-Intermediating Financial Planning process

There are four important elements in the non-intermediating financial planning process that when completed in the right order improve the outcome for the client. These are:

Goals: Multi-dimensional goal setting.

Actions: The project plan to achieve the goals.

Means: The lifetime cash flow forecast and ‘what if’ analysis to make good shortfalls and financial education on D2C solutions.

Execution: Personal coaching programme to encourage implementation and review.

The Productive Cycle: The GAME Plan.

The complete process in the correct order is Goals, Actions, Means, Execution.

This sets inspiring goals for the client in every area of their life, creates a project plan, plans the client before planning the money, puts in place the financial architecture to support the goals, includes wealth creation strategies in the ‘what if’ scenarios to plug shortfalls, educates on DIY wealth management solutions and provides personal coaching to support plan execution.

The outcome is a solid plan to achieve inspiring life goals. The client is likely to find the plan inspiring and productive.

The Exhaustive Cycle: Living within your means

The reverse cycle looks at the money first, uses knowledge to optimise wealth management solutions, then looks at the life the client can afford to live without outliving their capital.

The outcome is a plan to achieve uninspiring financial goals, likely to exclude things that money can’t buy. Like friendships, love, respect, faith, honour. It risks locking the client into the treadmill of work existence for the best part of 50 years on the bet they can buy their happiness in the last sixteen years. The client is likely to find the plan uninspiring and exhausting.

The Destructive Cycle: Treating the money as the client

Just looking at one element, say Means. Missing out the life plan. This is the approach a traditional financial intermediary transforming to a non-intermediating financial planner typically takes: The lifetime cash flow forecast and ‘what if’ analysis to make good shortfalls and financial education on D2C solutions.

The outcome is a plan to plug gaps in a shortfall analysis based on product.

The client is asked to pay highest premiums from ‘disposable’ income to D2C platforms to make good shortfalls in preservation, accumulation, crystallisation, decumulation and succession.

The goals are set instinctively by the planner, not the client. And, when someone else sets the goals, guess what’s in it for the client. Not much! The objective is to maximise financial wealth, and ignores wealth in other areas of the client’s life. The client is left poor, all they have is money. This is not deliberate, it is just the way the adviser has been trained.

This is the ‘asset hoovering’ approach taught by conflicted product providers and their agents for decades. Hand over your life savings to the industry to hold on to and milk for as long as possible.  This is the robo-advice model, the non-advised sale. The client is likely to find the plan destructive and leading to a lifetime of regret.

The top five regrets of the dying according to the book by palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware are: I lived my life as others expected me to live rather than true to myself, I worked too hard, I didn’t keep in touch with friends, I failed to speak my truth, I didn’t allow myself to be happy. Where are these needs addressed in the above methods?

Which process would your clients value most?

Contact us today to find out how the Academy of Life Planning can help you transition from Financial Intermediary to Non-Intermediating Financial Planning firm.

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Stand and deliver won’t work.

How should you plan a client when non-intermediating financial planning?

When you set up a non-intermediating financial planning firm. There’s not enough value in the ‘traditional’ financial planning process to justify the sale when you remove product advice.


  1. Contract
  2. Factfind
  3. Needs analysis
  4. Recommendation
  5. Implementation
  6. Review

It just leaves needs analysis.

Modelling accumulation, preservation, crystallisation, decumulation and succession.

The hand your money over plan. Hand your money to providers, and they hang on to it for as long as possible before handing it back. “Stand and deliver,” from the highway robbers.

And this stand and deliver planning, fails to justify the fee as clients see it for what it is.

Highway robbery.

Contemporary financial planning is about planning the client before planning the money. Planning goals in every area of the client’s life, not just financial. But intellectually, materially, emotionally, and spiritually. Including things money can’t buy. Like friendships, love, respect, faith, honour.

With proper financial planning we answer the question, “what’s your life purpose?”

The answer is to use gifts and talents in the service of others.

We ask the question; “how do you create wealth?” For no “hand over your money to us” product creates wealth. The client creates wealth.

The answer is, turn your purpose into a vocation. Include “the business plan of you” in the financial plan. This creates wealth.

Traditional financial planners must learn to:

  1. Plan goals in every area of the client’s life.
  2. Include things that money can’t buy. Like friendship, love, respect, faith, honour.
  3. Establish the client’s life purpose.
  4. Turn the purpose into a vocation.
  5. Produce a “business plan of you” to create wealth.

The focus is wealth creation. Not wealth management. And wealth in every area of the client’s life.

When the business plan is done properly, it turns a lifestyle business into an equity business and generates a lifetime of income, plus a valuable asset.

When you do financial planning properly, fully, in the contemporary way, the “hand over your money to us” products become superfluous. As the business plan of you makes good those shortfalls.

You treat the client as the customer, not their money.

When you do this with friendship, love, respect, faith, honour, the client runs their own money.

The “I’ll hang on to my money thank you” method. Intermediation becomes unnecessary. Product advice is removed and not missed.

The resulting financial plan has enormous value. Value that the client appreciates and will pay for. You justify the fee.

If you are a traditional financial planner looking at setting up a non-intermediating financial planning firm, first become a contemporary financial planner.

Contact us today to find out how the Academy of Life Planning can help you transition from Financial Intermediary to Non-Intermediating Financial Planning firm.

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The Non-Intermediating Financial Planning Firm

The GAME Plan Generator

Do you want to create a sustainable and profitable business by doing more of what you love, and less of what you hate about the job?

Do you want to earn while you sleep and create a great work-life balance with ‘nocturnal’ income for life?

Where are you now?

Maybe, you are an IFA who has reached capacity on the 121-planning side and wants to set up a scalable NIFP side-line on the QT to future-proof the business and income you proudly built up over the years.

Perhaps, your network cannot handle invoiced fees and have got you all tied up legally as they seek to ‘hoover’ your assets onto their platform, and you feel trapped, worried, and responsible for your clients.

Potentially, you see yourself as a professional financial planner rather than a product salesperson; and want to learn contemporary planning skills that clients would value and pay for that are broader than just product.

Possibly, it has dawned on you that investment solutions are commoditised and no matter what you do in-house, after fees you cannot beat market returns. Prospects are looking to run their own money, and you cannot see how you will get paid.

Maybe, you are being bullied by the network, compliance or PII insurers and your authorisation is at risk or has been limited, all the fun has gone out the door, and all the available cash is not far behind.

Perhaps, you have left or are leaving the industry, feeling forced out by circumstances beyond your control and you’re going to miss the best part of the job you love, helping people, your calling, your vocation.

Where would you like to be?

What if, you could take a proven ‘business-in-a-box’ for your NIFP firm and be up and running on the QT in no time at all, with no licensing or trademarks to worry about?

Here, you are a valued champion and impartial expert for your clients, on their side with no conflicts of interest, hidden agendas or perverse regulations getting in the way.

Imagine this, you keep what you earn with no other bosses taking their percentage, no high fees for intolerable regulators, and ridiculously low PII premium renewal quotes that make you smile.

Picture this, preparing a client report is fun and easy, completed in a fraction of the time, getting powerful, life changing, yet simple, easily understood, relevant plans across to your clients.

Imagine you’ve no tedious pointless returns to complete for regulators, auditors or networks that would otherwise eat up your time and drain your energy.

What if continuous professional development was about learning genuinely useful planning skills; rather than having to sit through countless, pointless and boring presentations about impractical regulations or from providers trying to sell you something?

Here, your business is scalable. Not just 1-to-many. But None-to-many. You exchange know-how for money, not your time. Your time is your own. Because your know-how is unlimited the upside is unlimited. The scalable lifetime ‘nocturnal’ income and freedom enables you to earn while you sleep and live the life you love without outliving your capital.

What if, you had wisdom, security, freedom, and a legacy, delivering these same qualities to your clients?

If that’s where you are, and this is where you’d like to be, then I’m sure you will agree that you need an adviser support network and a system, vehicle, or solution, to get you from here to there. Well, that is the Academy of Life Planning and The GAME Plan GeneratorTM.

Why is running a NIFP Firm important?

  1. The regulated financial adviser market has been contracting for decades, and the outlook for firms and adviser numbers looks set to continue in decline. Driven by obsessive regulation, restrictions to working practices, onerous reporting, time-consuming red-tape, hikes in regulatory fees, raised barriers to market entry, and hardening PII premiums.
  2. The ever-increasing cost of running a regulated IFA firm, combined with the limited capacity of delivering a 121 service, has forced the market to concentrate on ultra HNW. Leaving the mass-affluent disintermediated and underserved. With the advice gap leading to increasing wealth inequality in society. A gap that NIFP has the potential to fill.
  3. Product is commoditised. Product advisers can no longer deliver better outcomes for clients through research, recommendation, and maintenance, after costs, when compared to buy-and-forget passive retail-multi-asset funds; as accessible direct and as easy as on-line banking. The value add is now in the non-regulated planning, not the regulated product selection.
  4. A regulated firm is a lability taken to the grave. With NIFP there is no liability because there is no recommended product. There can be no malpractice, malfeasance, or miss-conduct by the mischievous minority when there is no product. There is no need for FCA registration & authorisation, FOS, and FSCS disappears. These labels are not benefiting clients when all you sell are plans. The risk of client detriment of getting a plan wrong are miniscule according to insurers, when compared to intermediaries.
  5. There is a need to mitigate the legal risk to your regulated business. The FCA has flagged issues with conflicted payments, such as asset-based fees for ongoing services they judge as unnecessary. A policy decision could impact your regulated firm ongoing revenues and business valuation multiples, overnight. You may be left with debt. You may not have the window of opportunity, or there might be restrictive covenants in place, when you later seek to migrate clients to a fee-for-service financial planning model.

Why now?

The FCA flagged the issue of conflicted payments in the Policy Statement PS20/6 in June 2020. Further decisions can be expected in the FCA’s Assessing Suitability Review 2 paper due early 2021.

Why AoLP?

In 2005, AoLP founder Steve Conley, as the Business Development Director of Berkeley Independent Advisers in Coventry, sold the UK’s fourth largest IFA network to Tenet Group, when regulators threatened to remove the licence for the business, with interruption to the authorisations of its twelve-hundred members, on the grounds of long past mistakes.

He learnt what it is like to be on the receiving end of threats of closure by the regulator and the need to act quickly to save the livelihood of advisers.

In 2012, the FCA completed the Retail Distribution Review. The resulting ban on commission and raising the regulatory bar on standards for financial intermediaries, led the banks to conclude that the regulated financial adviser market was a zero-sum game.

The regulator once again threatened the livelihood of advisers with their intervention. All banks laid off all their bancassurance advisers.

Steve was Head of Investments at HSBC at the time, and had successfully trained, piloted, tested, and proved the NIFP model. The banks were not interested, as ROI for the allocation of shareholder capital was deemed higher by raising levels of unsecured debt for naïve consumers.

Steve disagreed with the conclusions and ethics of the banks and left the banks to prove his point by championing the consumer.

Since then Steve has been an award-winning campaigner for improved market integrity; has run AoLP successfully as a NIFP firm creating wealth, accolade and happiness for many satisfied clients; has authored an Amazon bestseller on NIFP; presented 1-to-many on NIFP at events globally; and trained advisers to run Times best 250 nominated FP firms.

AoLP broadened its remit in 2020 in response to the deepening global life and money emergency, to offer an adviser support network to aspiring NIFP practitioners to spread the good work.

AoLP is the world’s first NIFP adviser support network. It is a work in progress, but many high-profile advisers have already seen the light and joined the ranks; the network is fast-growing and as NIFP crosses borders has gone global.

What makes us different?

When financial planning there are four key areas to address, in the right order.

GOALS: Set goals in every area of your life, not just financial goals.

ACTIONS: Build a project plan to achieve your goals, just like you would in business.

MEANS: Model the wealth you need to create and manage to achieve your goals throughout your lifetime. Create ‘What If’ scenarios to identify solutions to shortfalls. Note products do not create wealth. People do. So, you need to add a 3-year business plan for the ‘business of you’ into the Financial Plan.

EXECUTION: Provide a personal coaching service on-line.

For this AoLP has developed the unique system, The GAME Plan GeneratorTM

Contact us today to find out how the Academy of Life Planning can help you transition from Financial Intermediary to Non-Intermediating Financial Planning firm.

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What Happened Down Under

The Financial Planning Professional: Part 6 of 6

An account of an Australian financial adviser following the fee-for-no-service scandal.

I bought this business from the investment firm with a promise that if I were ever forced to sell, it would be on the same terms. Well now that promise has been broken and I’m facing ruin.

I don’t think there’s words that are strong enough.

To be sold something on one basis, and then to have that basis completely eroded by this much is reprehensible, in my opinion.

I bought clients from the investment firm several years ago, but it is now terminating me.

In effect, it means the investment firm can buy books back now for significantly less than what they sold it to us for.

In the paperwork that’s been put in front of me that I haven’t yet signed, if I don’t paint the investment firm in a glowing light they can remove all options that are currently available to me and essentially throw me on the street.

I feel like a complete failure and that I have let my family down, I am anxious and fearful for the future.

I have contemplated whether my life insurance is the better option for my family, for me. I have now had my will prepared so the investment firm can’t get a single dollar … I tell you this because I believe I’m not the only one thinking like this.

The investment firm is robbing us.

I’m not saying this lightly — a lot of people are on the edge of suicide.

I’m being thrown under the bus by them in response to their wrongdoing.

They offered us counselling.

They said they were worried about us, particularly our mental health.

They refer three or four of us a day to counselling support services.

Some of us have been advisers for a long time and have no other career options.

Some have been doing this for 30 or 40 years and this has been their life, and suddenly we have lost our business.

We are not sure if we are going to walk away with a loan. We are worried about our clients.

When we ask them whether they will forgive loans or ensure none of us will be left with a debt, they turn around and say, “We have a range of support measures available to practices.”

They said the changes to its buy-back program reflect “the significant economic changes that have occurred across the industry, including legislative change that will cease grandfathered commission, and other market disruptions.”

They say they had given us some choice about how we want to proceed.

“We wrote to a group of investment advisers indicating we did not believe their practice was viable and giving them a number of options to discuss with us, including their standard buy-out terms, an accelerated buy-out offer [expected to be within a timeframe of five-six months of electing this option] and merging with another practice.”

They said if we made no election by the deadline, our status as an authorised representative of the investment firm would end 180 days after the date of our letter.

There’s no doubt about it, the investment firm is in survival mode and I daresay they have decided that small, one-man practices like me do not now fit into their business model.

Even when I think I’m coping, I’m not.

I’m not making good decisions; I can’t think straight.

I’m so worried about my marriage, losing my home, how this will affect my family.

The counsellor called me. Said I’m not alone, there are people I can talk to and there are others in the same boat.

I think the investment firm has really tried to divide and conquer with what they are doing.

The termination letter from the investment firm gave us a short deadline to accept very unfair exit terms.

The terms vary, but generally we can either sell our business back to the investment firm for half of what we paid, despite what has previously been guaranteed full price by the them, or convince another investment adviser, who the investment firm wants to keep, to buy the business and take us on as an investment adviser.

The investment firm lent me hundreds of thousands of pounds to buy the business.

I will be left with substantial debts because of the investment firm forcing me out.

The deadline is less than three weeks away and I still don’t know how much the investment firm will pay for my business, still no answer on whether they will forgive any of the debt, or whether special consideration will be given if I am a genuine retiree.

If I fail to decide by the deadline, the investment firm may cancel my licence and take back my clients, with any loans remaining payable to them.

I am under significant stress knowing that by the deadline I will have no business, an unserviceable debt of about $400,000, and a five-year office lease I cannot get out of. And, I doubt I will be able to find another job given the state of the investment advice industry.

If you were to ask me, ‘Are you OK?’, the answer is no. Not anymore. And, neither is my wife. And neither is my family.

The investment firm has confidentiality clauses in its termination letters, which I fear will leave me with nothing if I speak out.

In the past, the investment firm encouraged us to take out loans to buy our businesses.

Many have loans that are bigger than what the investment firm has said it will now pay for those businesses.

So, by the deadline when the investment firm shuts them down, they will potentially all be left like me, with no income and a large loan.

The counsellors are inundated with calls from us all fearing for our futures.

People’s homes are definitely on the line. We know that many have got loans maybe several hundred thousand dollars, and the only way they are going to get it cleared is to sell their house.

But you’d like to think that the investment firm will do the right thing and make sure that doesn’t happen.

Until very recently, the investment firm was still encouraging investment advisers to take on extra debt to buy more clients and grow their business.

It’s not something they stopped doing three or four years ago; they were still encouraging people to borrow money, and probably still are encouraging people to borrow money.

I looked at applying to sell my business back to the investment firm before all this started, a process that normally takes 12 to 18 months.

When I applied, the investment firm was paying four times, but I have been told by my case worker that the investment firm will not hold to that agreement, and I will be paid about two-and-a-half-times my business’s annual income.

Instead of receiving about $500,000 for selling my business back to the investment firm, I will walk away with a sizeable loan, which I took out to buy the business in the first place.

They are using institutional power to walk all over the small guy … I don’t have the financial power to win court cases. And it’s scary.

I can join the other advisers and vote to pursue a class action.

I didn’t want to be aligned with the firm anymore as I watched the company implode in scandal after scandal.

I lost faith in whether they could provide what they needed to stay the same trustworthy company they once were.

Even where an investment adviser has been in the industry for many years and bought his book of clients from the investment firm “back when it was a respectable, good brand, with a good reputation”.

He may have worked hard in his community and brought many new clients to the business and serviced them on a fixed fee basis.

I’ve worked so hard to build the business and we don’t live rich; we get by on around $6,000 a month including the mortgage.

As I don’t have any employees, in our case it will just be me that loses his job, however the effect on our family is actually quite devastating.

Many people have little sympathy for us given what came out in the review, but the bad eggs were not the people the investment firm is getting rid of.

They are terminating those who don’t sell enough product, who don’t make enough money for them.

The smaller investment advisers like me that just charge for advice for clients who are not super rich, do a good job — that’s who the investment firm is terminating. I have never had one complaint or investigation into me.

I’m preparing to sell the family home and I’ve already pulled my children out of day care, meaning my parents have had to help.

My wife has been looking for work, but only found it in regional towns well away from the family.

The termination has left me in significant debt, a debt the investment firm says it will pursue.

I tried to contact the investment firm board to make sure it is aware of what is happening, but I’ve had no response.

I’m incredibly worried, incredibly worried about the investment advisers I’m speaking to.

The regulator said they were aware of the situation.

They said, “It appears that a lot of investment advisers have had unfair treatment related to contracts with the investment firm. This is a major issue and something that we are very keen to look into.”

“Those with concerns should get in contact with us, and this can be done anonymously.”

In a statement the investment firm said: “We care deeply about the welfare of our investment advisers and their families and have offered them a range of support options including counselling.”

This just seems all so wrong.

Contact us today to find out how the Academy of Life Planning can help you transition from Financial Intermediary to Non-Intermediating Financial Planning firm.

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