A paraplanner is the junior member of a financial planning team, usually working under the direction of a senior financial planner. The paraplanner performs several of the necessary tasks in developing a financial plan for a customer. First, they gather financial reports and records from the client. Next, the paraplanner reviews the client's financial records and starts creating and modeling different possible financial scenarios. In the process of creating these scenarios, the paraplanner determines how assets should be allocated and ultimately uses this information to make recommendations on which financial plan should be followed.
Besides generating the financial scenario reports for a client, a paraplanner also assists a financial planner in preparing the presentation of the information to the client. To this end, the paraplanner produces charts, graphs, and histograms to act as visual aids to educate the client and help the client make an informed decision. Additionally, the paraplanner must be on hand to answer any questions and concerns that a client may have. After the report presentation, and after the client makes a decision as to which financial plan to follow, the paraplanner follows up with the client and any necessary staff to ensure that the plan is followed, and to help making changes to the plan over time.
Paraplanners usually work in office settings for financial management firms. Travel may be occasionally required to meet with clients at their place of business. Most firms require that a paraplanner have an associate's degree with some experience in the industry, or a bachelor's degree and some relevant certifications.
- Construct visual aides including charts, graphs, and tables to be used in meetings with clients.
- Research financial databases and products that match clients' needs.
- Support financial advisors in serving clients by preparing for meetings, investment research, making preliminary financial planning recommendations, and coordinate marketing events.