Have you ever wanted the opportunity to get inside the heads of 6,000 advisers to see what they’re most interested in? If not, then what’s wrong with you?

    I’m joking.

    But now is your once-in-a-year chance to see what’s floated the Nucleus community’s boat this year, via the most read articles on illuminate over 2021.

    From big topics such as regulation, ESG and the future of planning, to nitty gritty subjects such as fees, report writing and B Corp certification, the chart toppers below provide a snapshot of what interests our users the most.

    Here’s a rundown of the most popular articles month by month:

    January: Six ways to improve your suitability reports, Nathan Fryer, Plan Works

    Having seen suitability reports in a variety of shapes and sizes over the years, Nathan shared his thoughts on how to write reports that get your message across, in a way that resonates with clients. 

    February: What we can learn from the latest FOS decisions, Philippa Hann, Clarke Willmott

    In Feb, Philippa did the hard work for us by looking through over 300 decisions by the Financial Ombudsman Service that fall under the heading 'investments and pensions' grouping them into four main categories.

    March: How ESG can be low cost and still high impact, Jonny Letham, Nucleus

    Jonny debated the role of active management when it comes to ESG investing, cautioning us not to overlook an increasingly dynamic passive industry that is constantly developing new and improved options.

    April: Should you ever negotiate on fees? Brett Davidson, FP Advance

    What should you do if get resistance to your fees – hang tough or negotiate? And if you negotiate, how should you do it? Brett unpacked this thorny issue for us in April.

    May: Simple methods for calculating client profitability, Graeme Stewart, Paradigm Consulting

    In May, Graeme explored a simple process that enables you to discover what level of income a client would have to generate in order to make your business profitable and sustainable.

    June: The story so far, Alan Smith, Capital Asset Management

    Alan issued a call to action in June to fellow financial planners to start sharing their best client stories in order to reveal the ‘hidden truth about financial planning done well’ to the public at large.

    July: The future of financial planning - to infinity and beyond, Nicola Ellis, Wellington Wealth

    In July we published a white paper on The Future of Financial Planning and Nicola provided her thoughts on the evolution of the profession so far, and what it can do next to ensure it not only survives, but thrives.

    August: How a client taught me an important lesson in planning, Tom Skinner, Barnaby Cecil

    Tom shared a self-effacing post in August about how one crucial piece of client feedback changed the way he thought about planning forever, emphasising how important it is for clients to see that you walk the walk.

    September: How to write reports that clients want to read, Nathan Fryer, Plan Works

    In his second post to appear in our rundown, Nathan urged advisers and paraplanners need to move away from a formal style of writing to embrace the way that people now want and should be communicated with.

    October: Why using work email for personal matters may get you fired, Andrew Brenton, Iolis Legal

    Judging by the popularity of this post, we were all wondering whether it’s ever a good idea to use work email for personal matters. The answer was a definitive ‘no’ according to Andrew, who had a cautionary tale to tell.

    November: How clients choose financial advisers, Amyr Rocha-Lima, Holland Hahn & Wills

    How do clients choose financial advisers? In November, Amyr warned us that prospects have never been more informed, which means we need to address their concerns at every stage.

    December: How we became a B Corp-certified firm, Kerry Burgess, First Wealth

    And finally, First Wealth recently became one of the first financial planning firms to gain B Corp certification, but what did it entail? Many of you were interested in finding out what the process was like first-hand, which Kerry described in excellent detail.

    So there you have it! Illuminate was originally created to help the advisers and planners to build and share knowledge in areas that are vital to the successful development of their businesses. It endeavours to shed light on the topics that are most pertinent to you. It’s also a place where planners can share their own experiences and personal stories.

    If you’d like to share your theories, tips and thoughts with the community, then please email me. You might be in our charts next year!

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