Well done to Mark Banks, Paraplanner at Four Oaks Financial Services. Mark is based in our modern offices in Shenstone Wood End which is close to Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth and Lichfield. It took him a couple of attempts to pass this Pensions and Retirement Planning exam, the frustrating thing was that he had the knowledge but had to apply this to the questions, so he practiced and practiced past papers and his tenacity has paid off!
What this means to Mark on a daily basis is that he can now apply his knowledge of pensions and retirement planning to his work and amassing lots of experience in this area of financial services. Mark is working towards his goal of becoming a Senior Financial Planner and will take his Investments examination in August this year.
Financial Adviser, Ian Cleghorn is already a Chartered Financial Planner but following the successful completion of a series of professional Pensions examinations he is now a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society as well. Ian didn’t need to take these examinations but because so much has changed in Pensions over recent years he wanted to ensure that his knowledge was completely up to date. The AF3 Advanced Pensions qualification relies on candidates having thorough knowledge of the three diploma level pension examinations. The AF3 Advanced Pensions qualification is recognised by the industry as one of the toughest to get owing to the level of difficulty and wide-ranging nature of the subject matter. It has the lowest pass rate of all the Chartered Insurance Institute examinations.
In October 2016 Ian very narrowly failed one examination. So, disappointed but undeterred he re-took this in April which he has passed with flying colours. His preparation included a huge amount of study, completing test papers, attending seminars and he also created a study group with other Advisers. From 2018 this qualification will be split into two parts owing to the large quantity of subject matter and Ian’s study group has asked him to be the Study Group Leader to help others prepare for their AF7 examination. However, for the next few months Ian is looking forward to spending time with his family and being a husband again!
“We were are so delighted for Ian that he has passed these examinations and is now a Fellow of the Personal Finance Society,” said Martin Ward, MD at Four Oaks Financial Services. “Ian has shown such dedication to his profession by undertaking these exams because he wants to make sure his knowledge is up to date so he can give the best service he can to his clients. At Four Oaks we help all our Advisers to become qualified and then to continue their professional development. Several of us are currently studying for qualifications, me included!”
The value of pensions and investments and the income they produce can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.
We held our first annual golf day on 28th June at Aston Wood Golf Club which is situated close to our offices near Sutton Coldfield and Lichfield. 36 golfers enjoyed a great competition with everyone teeing off at 12noon with an exciting shotgun start. Four Oaks Advisers’ spent the afternoon distributing refreshments to the golfers and generally lending support. The winning team was led by Mark Tonks with the unique name Floorbrandinglogisticlead Crew a name made up of the business activities of his team members – we’re looking forward to seeing how the trophy engraver gets on with that! Nearest the pin was won by Julie Basford, longest drive winner was Richard Hammett and the bucket and spade award for the funniest moment went to Neil Jeeves.
When the golf was over the whole Four Oaks Financial Services team joined us for a buffet and a brief overview of our charity the Buddy Bag Foundation. We had Buddy Bags and their contents on display and we raised over £300 for the charity.
The Four Oaks Financial Services Golf Day will now become an annual event with the winning team holding the trophy until the next event.
We are delighted to announce that Kevin Holder has been promoted to the position of Junior Paraplanner. Kevin joined Four Oaks Financial Services in January 2016 in a support role for our in-house Paraplanning team who are based at our offices in Shenstone Wood End which is close to Sutton Coldfield, Lichfield and Tamworth.
Kevin has proved himself to be a versatile member of the team often helping his colleagues in our admin team in addition to his own duties owing to his excellent understanding of our X-Plan system. Kevin’s new role of Junior Paraplanner will involve processing mortgage submissions, generating suitability reports, auto enrolment and researching personal protection quotations in support of our team of Financial Advisers who provide local financial advice to our clients throughout the area.
Kevin will begin studying for his Level 4 Diploma in Financial Advice in July with a view to passing his exam within 3 to 4 months. Kevin says he likes for working at Four Oaks because everyone is like a family and easy to talk to and he finds it very enjoyable to come to work.
Outside of work Kevin enjoys spending time with his two young children and supporting Liverpool FC, a team he has followed since he was a youngster himself.
A big thank you to Financial Adviser, Alan Woolford, our Finance Administrator, Annemarie Fraser and Head of Paraplanning, John Smith for stepping up for Four Oaks Financial Services when the Buddy Bag Foundation needed more hands to help them pack 200 Buddy Bags.
The Buddy Bag Foundation, which is based in Sutton Coldfield, is our charity. They provide bags of essential items for children who find themselves having to leave their home owing to domestic abuse. Often these children have nothing but what they are wearing when they get to a place of refuge. Every month the Buddy Bag Foundation recruits a team of volunteers and supporters to help them pack the Buddy Bags. We were delighted that Alan, John and Annemarie gave up their own spare time to help out packing things like socks, toothbrushes and items such as a cuddly toy that these vulnerable children can call their own in very distressing circumstances. To find out more about The Buddy Bag Foundation click here.
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This is a question that we recommend you ask your Adviser annually. Many people are introduced to life insurance when they sign up for their first mortgage, but then the policy is put in a safe place and not thought about again for many years, or until a claim needs to be made.
We all experience life-changing events such as having children and taking on more debt. If you don’t review your life insurance arrangements this could mean that your family won’t have enough money to pay the mortgage or meet the bills if you die.
At Four Oaks we compare life insurance from a panel of leading UK providers and offer expert local financial advice on the most suitable cover for you based on your individual circumstances.