Submitting your entry
Advisors must ensure there is no information in their Initial Submission that could identify the client. The entry must be fully redacted.
The common language spoken between all judges is English therefore our preference is that your Initial Submission be made in English.
Note: We do not want you to send in a copy of the financial plan that you will be entering at this point. Instead, the Initial Submission form that you will find online will solicit the information from you about your plan. Your completed Initial Submission form, which is all about your plan, will be used by the judges to select the top scorers to move on to the next phase.
The Initial Submission form is structured to gather specific information about your plan. The structured format creates a fair and consistent method of communicating what the plan is about to the judges.
The Initial Submission form is divided into two broad sections: Advisor Identification and Global Financial Planning Awards submission. We remove the Advisor Identification section before sending your submission to the judges, and from that point on your entry is only identified by the Competitor Number.
The Initial Submission form is an online document with eight sections which are explained below. The Initial Submission form is expandable and will allow you to type in it or cut and paste to it. You also have the ability to save any incomplete information and return to complete it at a later time. Once you have registered and have a competitor number just click on the above Initial Submission link and you are all set to begin. What follows is a description of what we are looking for in doing your submission.
Client Goals (I): The client’s Goals are things like a worry free retirement, or providing a good education for their children. Note that a “goal” by this definition is not measurable or quantifiable. Ideally the client’s goals are stated in your plan document. If that is not the case, the clients’ goals can still be stated in the Initial Submission form if they can be substantiated by notes you have made from the client meeting. There is no need to send in these notes unless requested.
Objectives (II): Alternatively Objectives are things that are quantifiable such as $5000 per month net after tax income beginning at age 60 and indexed to 3% inflation for life. Include enough specific quantifiable objectives to totally describe the lifestyle that the client wants for their family in the event of any contingency including pre-mature death, total disability, or retirement.
Challenges (III): A challenge (in this context) means something that needs to be overcome. The challenges could be many and varied, such as the client began planning late in life, has a permanently low income, or is uninsurable, etc. For example, “Because Joe had not saved a dime until age 50 (the challenge) they will now need to make other sacrifices.” Another example is “my clients could not agree on the distribution of their assets at time of second death.” Tell us about any challenges and how you overcame them.
Define and Quantify Problems (IV): Describe in detail the type of analysis that you conducted to quantify problems. Again, problems can be many and varied. Use specific numbers in defining the problem. For example, “based on current behaviour the client is projected to run out of money at age 74.There is a projected shortfall of $420,000.” Another example, “there is a shortage in the event of the client’s death of $260,000.” There could also be problems such as an outdated will. The will could be outdated because (III Challenges) you got them to agree on a new distribution. Now the problem can be solved by drafting a new will.
Risk Tolerance and Time Horizon (V): Describe how you assessed the client’s risk tolerance. If spouses had a very different risk tolerance, how did you address that? In this case what impact does the time horizon have on the clients' risk tolerance score?
Clients Composure, Investor Experience, and Knowledge (VI): Which of these factors did you consider in making your investment recommendations?
Recommendations (VII): Describe the recommendations given to the client that will give them a reasonable probability of achieving all of their objectives. If achievement of all objectives is not possible, then explain the modifications in the objectives that you suggested, and why.
Action Plan Summary (VIII): Describe what specific actions the client should now take and the order in which the actions should occur. For example: 1) apply for insurance coverage (of course be more specific), 2) consolidate debt, 3) new asset allocation to match risk tolerance, 4) update wills. Note: this is a highly abbreviated example. You action plan must be far more detailed than this example, and could include 15 to 20 items or more.
Client Results (IX): Summarize the results that the client should experience by following your plan, such as an income for life of no less than $4,000 per month indexed to inflation. State the other specific financial objectives that will be partially or fully realized. An example might be, “the family’s current standard of living can be maintained in the event of pre-mature death or disability of the bread winners.”
Client Benefits (X): Summarize the non-financial benefits that the client has experienced by adopting your recommendations. This is not limited to quantifiable financial benefits. The client may have stated that they have great peace of mind by having a plan. If this is a new client, we would not expect the benefits here to be as great, but tell about what you have observed at this point.