What Does a Paraplanner Do?

What Does a Paraplanner Do?

Welcome to the Standing Oak Advisors paraplanner series blog!

I’m Jeremy and I’m a paraplanner for Standing Oak Advisors. I find it fascinating how I’ve yet to meet a person who knows what my job is and what it entails. But this makes sense given I didn’t even know it existed before accidently stumbling upon it back in 2019. It’s fair to say not many people know about it.

we felt that it’d be insightful to give a glimpse of what paraplanning is and why we started this blog series.

The financial industry is such an expansive world with a vast array of jobs and careers. There are financial advisors, financial planners, financial analysts, insurance agents, investment bankers, actuaries, portfolio managers, securities traders, economist analysts, … See what I mean?

You’ve probably heard of a paralegal before. They assist lawyers with their caseloads by conducting legal research and analysis. But how about what a paraplanner does?

“Para” comes from the Greek and means “alongside.” As its name indicates, a paraplanner works alongside a planner or a financial advisor.

Why is it challenging to find information about this line of work? Because it varies on the employer’s needs.

For a financial planner, similar to a paralegal, my duty is to take some work off the advisor’s table and to free up his time. The advisor’s time is more valuable spent doing things that directly help their clients. So, what do investment advisors needs?

Here are the areas of work that I do as a Paraplanner:

  1. Gather client data and analyze it in a planning software
  2. Analyze a client’s risk tolerance
  3. Prepare a preliminary financial plan for the advisor
  4. Monitor current clients’ investments and plans on a quarterly basis
  5. Provide fee analysis and tax related calculation reports to families
  6. Track assets under management numbers on a monthly basis
  7. Manage software that deal with client data, investments, and financial reporting

Some advisors may only need one of these things to be taken care of. Others may need it all covered. Here are more details on the tasks that paraplanners like me take on.

The data gathering process from families and its analysis are key to better understanding a family’s current financial position, their needs, and their financial goals. It’s a lengthy process that allows us to run multiple scenarios for them. This eventually leads to preparing a financial plan draft to be reviewed and approved by the advisor.

I keep track of the progress of a family’s investments and plans and routinely report back to the advisor. This allows him to adjust strategies or plans when conditions change.

On the business side, I keep an eye on assets under management and create templates and workflows in Excel, Word CMRs, etc. Then, I review these numbers with the advisor on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.

Paraplanning is both fun and tedious, but it is always valuable to our efforts to help client’s grow their wealth. We’ll have more info on Paraplanning in future blogs, stay tuned for our next installment in the coming weeks.

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