I am in the process of moving from an employed paraplanner to a freelance paraplanner and  I would appreciate any comments on the merit or otherwise of investing in software.
The majority, if not all  advisers will have this and will most likely prefer to have their corporate branding on the research within their clients file.


  • richallumrichallum Administrator
    After people our next biggest expense item is software so I'm a big fan.  But, as an outsourced paraplanner there are some things to think about:

    • Most industry software providers will charge you more than the standard licence when you tell them you're outsourced.  I don't have a problem with this (jn the main) as you will be using it for several adviers who could have bought a licence each. Don't try to cheat the system though as you'll find in the T&Cs that using a 'normal' licence precludes you from passing on the results with any other firm and that could cauase you and your adviser client serious issues.
    • We have our own licences for all the main software tools because we want them all avaialble and we are large enought to support the cost.  Some of our adviser firm clients have their own versions too and they generally like us to use their licence so that the data is always available to them.  Doing research and analysis on our licence means that an adviser may not have access to it in the future.
    • Think about what you really need as essential tools. If you are majoring on pensions then Selectapension and/or O&M are must haves and it's worth gettting your own licence.
    • For non industry stuff think about what you need, where you'll access it and what you'll do with the outputs.  Default is Windows and Office as most firms use that.  We use Macs as they are lower cost over time and just easier and nicer to use.  We have Office (because we have to) and pay the monthly fee with 365 accounts.  But, we are moving our default to G Suite from Google and this is great for all word processing, spreadsheet etc, is accesible on any platform and nicer to use.
    Happy to talk through in more detail if you like as this is a pet topic of mince.

    Paraplanner. F1, Apple, Nutella, ice cream. No trite motivational quotes. Turning a bit northern. Republican.

  • Richard
    I really appreciate the time you took to reply. I have used both O&M and Selectapension, both are good although my preference is Selectapension,  I find it easier to navigate and the support is excellent.
    I am  in the middle of a trial period with FE Analytics and my initial observations are that it is both comprehensive and detailed, and I believe having access to this or similar software is essential when recommending and reviewing an investment strategy.
    I have also looked at cloud storage and secure emails. SharePoint is included with Microsoft Office, however I have found it   cumbersome. Most likely I will use Dropbox, it allows for password protection when sending an email,   SharePoint doesn't appear to have this function.
    Like you I have Office on a monthly subscription, I am soon to invest in additional hardware, the current equipment will be retained for backup if needed. I agree Macs are nice to use and more attractive but I am probably too accustomed to Windows to change. 

    Again, thank you for your comments.


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