Remember the days when SoA’s were a simple one page form? No, nor do I because I’m not that old. But some Advisers do and so it must be pretty shit to now have to find their way through 50 pages of disclosures and jargon for a simple super rollover. My point is that SOA’s can be difficult to read at the best of times so it’s imperative you have the right Paraplanner.
So what makes a great Paraplanner? Apart from the fundamentals of technical skills and software experience, essentially the SOA is a direct reflection of the communication between Adviser and Paraplanner.
To find your SOA soul mate, I suggest you consider the following:
How do you work best? If you are someone who is meticulous with file notes, a top scorer in every Audit and love finding efficiencies with your software then look for someone who values working effectively.
How do you communicate? Some Advisers prefer to have a discussion with their Paraplanner about the strategy to nut it out, others like to provide a dot point summary and leave the finer details for the SOA writing. Either way, you need to make sure the Paraplanner is receptive to your approach.
What do you want from your Paraplanner? Not all will be well versed across complex strategies or may not be comfortable having to also complete applications on top of SOA’s or may even be looking to move into an Advisory role. Be clear about your expectations and ask your potential soul mate to do the same.
What are you willing to provide? In my experience some of the best Paraplanners are raising families at home. Consider if you really need someone to come into the office everyday because a lot of parents value flexible working arrangements over a higher salary.
At the end of the day, we spend more of our waking hours with our colleagues than the people we dearly love (sad, but true). Take your time to consider what you really want from your Paraplanner but more so, get to know them as a fellow human being rather than employee because you will both be working towards a common goal.
Finding the right Paraplanner is about asking the right questions and setting expectations from the get go. Expect to invest time in understanding your Paraplanner and ensuring they know what you want. The clearer your communication, the better the relationship will be and that’s where the best work is produced.