Bruce Fleming

2016 FPI Financial Planner of the Year

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Bruce Fleming is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®/CFP® professional and the Financial Planning Institute’s 2016 Financial Planner of the Year. Bruce discovered his passion for financial planning when he was a legal advisor at Old Mutual and realised that not enough has been done with financial planning. He believed that financial planning should start and end with the person you are doing financial planning for. Financial planners need to understand their financial goals intricately and put a financial plan together based on these goals and objectives.

Bruce practiced as a legal advisor until 1999 when he joined Acsis as a practice development manager where he learned about lifestyle financial planning. The CEO of a financial planning business based in Johannesburg approached him about starting a practice for them in Cape Town in 2000 which he jumped at. He has been a financial planner ever since.

According to Bruce believes that, in the same way that doctors help their patients to get better, financial planners help people get into a better financial situation, from which they are able to meet their financial objectives without the worry. He highly values being able to give clients financial freedom to do what their hearts desire.

Trust is the biggest issue that clients have in his opinion. Financial planners are dealing with peoples’ financial future so there needs to be a very deep long term trust between the financial planner and the client/consumer. The consumer needs to find a financial planner who puts them and their needs first. This financial planner should also be a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®/CFP® professional. Just as you would see a doctor if you are sick, you need to see a CFP® professional to assist you in your financial planning.

Bruce counts winning the FPI 2016 Financial Planner of the Year Award as one of his greatest achievements, a victory that is all the sweeter having been a runner-up in 2014 and 2015. The award is recognition by colleagues in the industry for doing what is right for his clients, which is putting them and their financial objectives first and coming up with solutions for their specific circumstances. Bruce has been helping people achieve financial freedom for the past 16 years and making a difference in their lives.“I have a client who came in and saw me one morning and he was looking stressed out, so I asked him what was wrong,” recalls Bruce. “His answer to me was he was feeling stressed because he expected me to tell him whether or not he could afford to retire. It reconfirmed to me how important we are in peoples’ lives”.

Bruce attended the Financial Planning Association’s Annual Convention in Baltimore, Maryland where he was able to mix with some of the top planners in the world. It was there that he realised that the financial planning industry in South Africa is not only on par with the United States but in many respects ahead of them.Bruce describes himself as a “golf nut”, but is quick to add that he could never make any money as a professional golfer. When he isn’t giving financial advice or crossing the links chasing a little white ball, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, Abby and Luke. Bruce says that the most important thing for aspiring financial planners to know is to always put the clients’ needs first.“Financial planning is one of the highest-rated jobs in terms of job satisfaction, as you get to help people every day of your life. Be patient when building a practice because it will take time to build it, but if you put the client at the centre of your business you will have a very successful long-term business,” he says

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