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The Weekly Waffle

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🧇 The Weekly Waffle - The Latest Gossip from the Academy's Town Hall - The Friday Lunch Bunch, March 15th, 2024 📅


Greetings, Waffle Connoisseurs 🌟


Nip over and snag a chair for our weekly natter from the Friday Lunch Bunch at the Academy of Life Planning's positively splendid Town Hall. Here's what we're serving up today, all dished out with a dollop of our finest cheeky banter. 🍴


🧠 CPD Masterclass Series: The Vision Maker - A Quick Recap 🌌

Thursday night we turned our planners into wands and dived head-first into the murky waters of manifesting visions. We’re not just planners; we’re downright wizards in the art of making dreams come true. For those who missed the spellcasting, catch the rerun on VOD and grab the spellbook from Downloads.


🔮 Manifestation Process: A Peek Behind the Curtain 📜

Last night's masterclass was a mystical journey from thought to thing, guided by the ancient wisdom of natural cycles. We crafted purpose statements, conjured affirmations, and tinkered with emotional alchemy on Google Sheets. Plus, we explored how to chant life scripts into our phones like modern-day sorcerers, embedding future dreams directly into our subconscious.


🧙‍♂️ NLP & Semantics: Mind Tricks & Magic Words 📖

We ventured into the enchanted forest of NLP, stumbling upon the Miracle Conversation—a spell to transport you from dreary now to dazzling next, with sensory prompts as our broomsticks. Despite its trendiness on social media, we traced NLP’s roots back to ancient faith traditions, proving everything old is new again.


💸 Manifestation of Money: The Next Alchemy Session 💰

Mark your calendars: Monday, April 8th, 3 PM GMT. We’re summoning wealth with “The Intangible Asset Manager”. Forget simple visualisation; we’re building tangible treasure maps. Attendance has been more ghost town than bustling marketplace, and though we’ve tempted fate with free seats, those days are now fairy tales. Tickets now come in sacred blocks of 4 for £395, but our AoLP members can access recorded sessions, memberships starting at a mere £19 a month. Join us, or risk being poorer in knowledge and riches alike.


🎪 Upcoming Attraction: Partner Parade - “Show Me the Money (Habitudes)” 💳

Circle your calendars, set your alarms, and maybe light a candle or two for good luck – our next Partner Parade session is nearly upon us. Picture this: a vibrant discussion swirling around the mystical realms of financial habits, where the legends Brian Foster and Cara Machsound will lead us through the enchanted forest of Money Habitudes.


🗓️ Date for the Diary: Tuesday, March 19th at 4:00 PM GMT

Prepare to be dazzled as we delve deep into the secrets of spending, saving, and perhaps the occasional splurging, all through the magical lens of Money Habitudes cards. It’s like tarot but with fewer mystics and more practical tips for financial enlightenment.


💼 Opportunities Galore!

But wait, there’s more! This isn’t just a chit-chat session; it’s a golden ticket to training opportunities that could just transform your money manners from tragic to magic.


So, if your financial habits are more ‘hide under the mattress’ than ‘wise investment strategies’, join us. It’s time to shake up those money beliefs and maybe, just maybe, find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.


Don your most enchanting cloak (or, you know, a comfy jumper) and join us for a session that promises to be more enlightening than finding a £20 note in an old pair of jeans. See you there!


Rumble in the Financial Jungle: A Tale of Advice, Regulation, and Survival 🕵️‍♂️💼

Oh, what a time to be alive in the bustling world of finance, where the plot thickens around the ongoing advice charges saga. Giants like St James's Place and Quilter are under the microscope, and let me tell you, the drama is more gripping than a season finale of your favourite soap opera.


The Squeeze on the Little Guys 🤏

The winds of change are blowing, and they smell suspiciously like increased consolidation. Thanks to our dear friends at the FCA and their love for a good ol’ industry-wide review, smaller firms are feeling the squeeze. It’s like David vs. Goliath, if Goliath was armed with regulatory paperwork.


Stuck at St James's Place: A Sticky Situation 🍯

Speaking of sticky situations, advisors at St James's Place are finding themselves in a bit of a pickle, with remuneration models that are about as easy to navigate as a labyrinth. And trying to leave? Well, that’s a debt-laden path not for the faint-hearted.


Regulatory Roulette: Spin the Wheel of Compliance 🎰

Then there’s the ever-exciting game of regulatory roulette, where financial advisors dance around potential liabilities and regulatory implications like they’re dodging raindrops. The fun never stops, with a special highlight on the need for case reviews and seeking guidance from those who speak fluent regulator-ese.


Compliance Conundrums: More Twists Than a Pretzel 🥨

Advisors, bless their hearts, are now grappling with the difference between offering and providing client reviews – a distinction as clear as mud. Turns out, thinking about doing something isn’t quite the same as actually doing it. Who knew?


Name and Shame: The Business Boogeyman 👺

And in the realm of business implications, there’s a new horror story making the rounds – being named and shamed before the ink is dry on the investigation. It’s like being told you’re the villain in the story before you’ve even auditioned for the part.


Financial Fallout: Counting the Cost 💸

Lastly, we’ve touched on the financial fright night that is regulatory scrutiny, complete with a stop-loss clause that’s about as comforting as a parachute made of lead. And as for refunds? Well, don’t hold your breath unless you look good in blue.


So, gather round, financial folk, as we navigate this thrilling chapter in the finance fables. May your advice be wise, your compliance tight, and your survival instincts sharper than a taxman’s pencil. So, keep your wits about you and your paperwork in order.


AI Advances: The Quest for Digital Immortality 💾👻

Oh, what a time to be digitally alive! We've been chinwagging about the latest in AI wizardry, where "Eternal Life" isn't just for the pharaohs anymore. Yes, you heard it right. We're on the brink of outsourcing our identities to the cloud, post-mortem. Voice recordings and videos are now the new hieroglyphs, promising a shot at digital immortality. Cue the existential crisis and a whole Pandora's box of societal and ethical brain teasers.


Replicate: Your Very Own Digital Doppelgänger 🤖💬

Enter Replicate, the magic mirror on the wall, telling you that, yes, you can indeed live forever, sort of. It's like building your own virtual ghost to roam the internet, schooling avatars on your life stories and secret recipes long after you've left the building. Fascinating or freaky? The jury’s still out.


Amidst this digital séance, we couldn't help but tip our hats to George's tome, "Dare to Discover Your Purpose: Retire, Refire, and Rewire." A riveting read that suggests even in the afterlife, you should have a plan for active and passive incomes. Because, let's face it, eternity's a long time to be skint.


Financial Advisors: The Afterlife Consultants 🎩💰

And where do our esteemed financial advisors fit into this futuristic fray? Well, they've been promoted to guiding souls towards sustainable livelihoods in the great beyond. Forget about managing your 401(k)/ SIPP; it's time to strategise your celestial cash flows.


In this brave new world where the line between being and binary is blurring, we're left pondering: is eternity in the cloud what we're really after? Or is it just another way to avoid clearing out the attic? Either way, keep your digital avatars close and your existential questions closer.


The Great Gen X Exodus: Seeking Meaning Over Money 💼🚶‍♂️

Once upon a time, in the mystical land of regulated financial advice, a peculiar phenomenon was observed: a notable thinning of the Gen X ranks. It appears that this cohort, notorious for their love of grunge and existential musings, decided that peddling products was passé. They yearned for something more, something ethical. And so, they began their mass migration from the towering citadels of Chase de Vere and Mazars to the greener pastures of firms where the bottom line might just align with the greater good.


From Regulated Rebels to Unregulated Visionaries 🦋

In the face of this great disillusionment, a bold proposal emerged: why not shed the regulatory chrysalis and emerge as an unregulated financial planner, free to flutter in fields of financial advice untamed by the iron grip of regulation? It’s a metamorphosis for the modern age, a transition from the cocoon of compliance to the liberty of advising without a regulatory leash. Thrilling, isn’t it?


Effective Altruism: Because Money Talks, But It Can Also Do Good 🌍💸

Then, we dove headfirst into the deep, altruistic waters of effective altruism, where the cold, hard cash meets warm, fuzzy feelings. Here, it’s not just about the return on investment; it’s about the social return on investment. It’s about squeezing every drop of goodness from your greenbacks, ensuring your philanthropic bang gives you the most benevolent buck. It’s finance with a conscience, darling.


The Pricey Affair of Wealth Management 💰😤

Then, we lamented the exorbitant affair that is wealth management fees. Oh, the opulence of private banking, where giving away your wealth can cost you an arm and a leg, perhaps even a gold-plated one at that. These fees are the financial equivalent of a designer handbag: overpriced, underwhelming, and likely to induce buyer’s remorse.


So, let's take a breather. A world where financial advice isn’t just about accruing wealth, but about aligning it with one’s moral compass. Where being unregulated doesn’t mean being unprincipled. And where doing good with your dosh doesn’t have to cost the earth, unless, of course, you’re paying through the nose for the privilege. In the end, isn’t it all just about finding a bit more meaning in the madness?


The Vanguard Life Strategy Fund vs. The World 🌍💼

In the red corner, we have the wealth managers, titans of tailored advice, and in the blue corner, the humble Vanguard Life Strategy Fund, the passive fund that could. The bell rings, and what do we find? Our active management gladiators can barely outpunch a passive fund, and when they do, it’s more by luck than by skill. Apparently, strategic asset allocation in bonds was their only saving grace, proving even a broken clock is right twice a day.


The Myth of the Almighty Savings Pot 🏺

Then, we turned our gaze to the mythic savings pots, those ancient relics believed to ensure financial security. The plot twist? They might not be the end-all solution. Instead, sustainable livelihoods steal the spotlight, suggesting a balanced life strategy beats hoarding coins. The narrative took a philosophical turn, musing on consciousness levels and life’s grand journey, making us wonder if we’re not just financial planners, but also part-time philosophers.


The Great Client Comparison Showdown 🎭

Amidst fluctuating interest rates playing hopscotch between 4 and 5%, the advisor-client tango over charges versus bank returns becomes a performance worth watching. Clients, it seems, are more interested in beating the banks than fretting over advisor fees. It’s a reminder that in the grand theatre of financial planning, the quest for superior returns is the plot twist everyone is waiting for.


Maternity Leave: The Financial Obstacle Course 🍼💸

And finally, we broached the topic of maternity leave – that joyous yet financially perplexing time. An article served as our guide through this income strategy maze, aiming to soften the cash flow blows during work hiatus for childbirth. It’s a bit like preparing for a long winter hibernation, except the bear is a baby, and the cave is your bank account.


🔴 Root to Crown: A Rainbow Road of Self-Discovery 🌈

Strap in, soul searchers, as we embark on a technicolour trek through the chakras, those mystical energy hubs you’ve likely neglected along with your unused gym membership. From the primal roots to the celestial crown, we're aligning our inner spectrums with the cosmic stages of existential questioning, promising a journey of self-discovery that's as enlightening as finding your phone in the fridge after a long day. It’s not just a spiritual jaunt; it’s a full-blown identity overhaul, wrapped in the promise of transformation—or at the very least, a decent story for your next dinner party. Prepare for a journey where self-actualisation meets a desperate quest for Wi-Fi connection, and enlightenment is just a fancy word for surviving the ride with your sanity intact.


In summary, life’s financial journey is indeed a soul ego tug of war, where wisdom, wit, and a well-placed sarcasm might just be the best tools at our disposal. Whether battling benchmarks, debunking savings myths, or navigating life’s milestones, it seems the more things change, the more our money worries stay the same. But fear not, for in this saga of savings and strategies, we’re all in it together – ideally with a healthy dose of scepticism and a good financial planner by our side.


The Last Mike Drop: Toodle-oo and Thanks a Million 🍷🚪

And there we have it, the final act of today's splendid parade of pecuniary pageantry, seen through the ever-so-slightly cynical spectacles of yours truly, Steve. It's time to doff your caps, hurl your bouquets, and give yourselves a roaring round of applause. You splendid sages, for generously spilling the contents of your craniums and lending your ears, all in the noble pursuit of enlightenment.


Let's not linger lest we start sprouting greenery from our extremities. With our newfound trove of sagacity and a sprinkle of camaraderie, we take our leave, hearts heavy with the anticipation of a weekend brimming with merriment and a touch of contemplation. And so, we etch yet another entry in the annals of the Academy’s Friday Lunch Bunch - a saga of navigating the financial fjords and the boundless beyond.


🔚 And Thus Concludes Our Saga 🎬

You are hereby released back into the wild, breadcrumbs of hyperlinks scattered behind you – because what's an adventure without a little post-journey homework to stave off the doldrums?


That’s a wrap on this week’s gab and gossip gala, my fellow jesters! For those yearning for a trip down memory lane, take a peek at our previous japes or secure your spot at our next chinwag (March 22nd, 2024, 12:00 PM London) for an unparalleled session of quips and quirks. And with that, we lower the curtain on our most recent convocation of conviviality and cackles. Until we cross paths again, keep your waffles wafting 🧇.


Ta-ta for now,

Steve Conley

The Big Cheese, Academy of Life Planning




P.S. If you know anyone who would like to be added to our mailing list, please share this link.


Websites: Academy of Life PlanningPlanning My LifeFinancial Life CoachSteve's Blog.


Copyright the Academy of Life Planning Limited 2023. Contact us by email at The Academy of Life Planning Limited is a service sector trading company regulated by the Competition and Markets Authority and Registered in England and Wales number 8016568. Registered office address 9 Franklin Way, Spilsby, Lincolnshire, PE23 5GG, United Kingdom. Information Commissioner's Office reference number ZA502687.


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