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“Being unhealthy but wealthy is a crazy proposition to me.”

Tony Slimmings is the founding director of We Paraplan, one of the UK’s premier outsourced paraplanning businesses. He is a chartered financial planner and a former IFA with nearly 30 years’ experience of providing regulated financial planning advice as well as using his understanding of people and team dynamics to launch and run successful financial planning-related businesses. His work sees him collaborating with financial planning firms to enhance their offerings and help them to help their clients.

Tony was recommended for the IFW Showcase by Kathryn Knowles.

How would you summarise your career to date?

I have been lucky enough to have enjoyed 30+ years in the financial planning profession and expect to enjoy a few more yet. It has been a journey from ‘product sales’ to selling products to meet a clear financial advice need ‘order taking’ to real financial planning. Challnging peoples beliefs and ‘needs’ to identify their true financial planning needs (sometimes meaning nothing needs to be done). Delivering true financial planning is a vocation not a job and learning to (eventually) live what I preach has been as much an enjoyable journey as assisting others.

What are your passions both in and out of work?

My passions in work are now more centred around developing others into becoming part of the financial planning profession of the future. Outside of work, I just enjoy living the life I have now not wishing my life away trying to find the ‘ideal’ life.

What’s your happiest memory?

So many, but most involve our children and holidays in Florida.

What one thing do you wish you’d been told about finance when you were 15?

Save the first 10% of any income and then decide what to do with the rest.

What made you want to specialise in outsourced paraplanning?

Total accident! I ‘retired’ as a financial planner in 2016 and sold my stake in a wealth management company. In 2017 I got asked to help out with DB transfer analysis and reports for a few months and it grew from there.

In 2020 I decided there was a gap in the market for another decent firm so I started growing, we are now up to 22 and will hit 26 in June. So I suppose there was a gap after all! Thankfully, I leave the paraplanning to others better at it than me these days and focus on developing the business and the team.

What prompted you to join the Initiative for Financial Wellbeing?

Curiosity! I have known of Chris Budd for a few years and have read The Financial Wellbeing Book so I wanted to see how this worked in practice with other planners.

What drew you to financial wellbeing in the first place?

I’ve always been an advocate of living a good life and overall wellbeing: physical, psychological, emotional and financial makes a lot of sense to me. Money does not make you happy per se and being unhealthy but wealthy is a crazy proposition to me.

So following simple rules to balance overall wellbeing, eating healthily, exercising, continuous learning etc. are all congruent with understanding what financial wellbeing looks like.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt about financial wellbeing since joining?

How few financial planners really consider it and the massive gap in knowledge that needs to be filled. I find it so sad that ‘advisers’ will chase assets under management or focus on growing client assets without first really getting to understand the why.

It is important to me, for the financial wellbeing of the business.

Who or what is your favourite (general) wellbeing guru, podcast or book? 

Cary L. Cooper, Sheena Johnson and Ivan Robertson’s WELL-BEING: Productivity and Happiness at Work is one of my go-to books. My interest in Wellbeing sprung form a work-based platform initially. I have always believed in making workplaces as enjoyable and productive as possible.

What are you doing to advance your own financial wellbeing?

Practicing what I preach – life is not a dress rehearsal and we are not getting out of here alive. I have a financial plan just in case I manage to live until I am 120 but I try and live life as if each year is my last.

Is there an IFW member you would like to see featured in the IFW Showcase? Send an email to members@ifw.org.uk and we’ll see what we can do!