Great ideas and sharing best practice are fundamental to the development of technical competence, running a great business and delivering an even better service for clients. Almost a year on from the CISI/IFP merger, Campbell Edgar, head of financial planning at the CISI, reminds us of the value of networking and why he’s looking forward to the CISI conference at Celtic Manor which starts 3 October.
It’s that time of year again. The leaves are turning and starting to fall, conference season is upon us and hundreds of leading advisers, planners and paraplanners are taking time out of their busy schedules to head to Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales, for the CISI Financial Planning Annual Conference.
Whilst attending conferences is undoubtedly fun, there is a serious side to it too. Committing to time away from the office requires some organisation but the benefits are legion. Stepping outside the day to day and into a community of like-minded people alters perspectives, whether by actively seek out someone with whom to chew over a problem, or simply absorbing different approaches. Being surrounded by fellow professionals who share a passion for financial planning will invigorate, enthuse and refresh. You’ll return to the day to day armed with knowledge and ideas to refine and enhance your business.
If I gave you a pound, and you gave me a pound, neither of us would be worse off, but we wouldn’t have gained anything from the exchange. Hundreds of people doing this exercise in a conference hall would cause no harm, but would be more than a little baffling and could hardly be described as a force for good. But substitute ideas for pounds, and things become much more exciting. Unlike pounds, ideas aren’t lost when they’re given away. When I give you an idea, and you give me an idea, we have both gained something and lost nothing. Now imagine hundreds of people doing that. What a phenomenal exchange of knowledge and expertise. Even if everybody used only one of the ideas they picked up, how powerful would that be?
Many people like to support professional bodies such as CISI because they want to give something back. They want to assist those with less experience and contribute to the wider profession, helping to drive it forward. This is incredibly important but it doesn’t have to be a one-way street. It is not selfish to take something away yourself, nor indeed to want to do so. Unlike cake, enthusiasm and ideas are not finite so you can take as much as you wish without depriving anyone else. However, like cake, the more everyone puts in, the more there is to go round. The financial planning profession needs a strong community with as many people as possible getting involved.
I urge everyone to get involved in as many ways as possible. Professions thrive and develop as a result of the quality of the conversations that take place. Give your ideas away, take as many as you can from others and share your passion. There are not many opportunities to make a difference to yourself and to someone else. Getting involved and shaping the profession is one of them so seize it with both hands. Of course we’d love to see you doing that at Celtic Manor, but if you can’t make it this year, look for every other chance to get involved. I guarantee it will make a difference.
Campbell Edgar CFPTM FCSI
Head of Financial Planning, Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment
To book your place at the CISI Financial Planning Annual Conference which takes place from 3-5 October 2016 please visit the CISI website