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Every great business has a story, this is ours...

The Story of PlanHappy

We’ve lived your day-to-day. We’ve experienced your challenges. We’ve shared your same frustrations. So, as the old saying goes if you want something doing right, do it yourself. And that’s exactly what we did.

Chapter 1

Where It All Started

PlanHappy is the brainchild of our founder, Neil Parker. He developed the system over many years working with thousands of clients (yes, he counted) to deliver real improvements to their lives.

Neil spent his younger working years in hotels and restaurants. And, starting out as a pot washer, he soon learnt about the value of process and the importance of building systems. Using high-tech methods such as sticky tape on the counter, he quickly created an efficient workflow of lanes and sections for everyone to follow and noted that his process outlasted his time in the role.

Moving up into the world of cheffing, he soon realised that it was less about cooking and more about preparation, systems and process. A great cook can serve the same delicious meal to a dinner party of 6, but a great Chef can deliver a variety of delicious meals to a restaurant of 60.

Accepting that he was a better chef than he was a cook and that the culinary arts were never going to be his long-term passion, he requalified as a Civil Engineer at night college and enjoyed several years in the profession designing and managing projects across the UK. During his time in Civil Engineering, he learnt the importance of best practice. In its simplest form, this is the very human preference for driving over a bridge that has been built to the same design as one that previously stood up – rather than design of one that previously fell down.

Chapter 2

Seeing The Future

Moving into the world of Financial Services and becoming a ‘traditional’ Financial Adviser, he soon realised he was spending more and more time talking about what his clients REALLY wanted out of life and less time talking about financial products.

Neil then discovered there was a whole community of like-minded advisers who proudly proclaimed themselves as Lifestyle Financial Planners, led by original visionaries such as Paul Armson, Bob Veres, George Kinder, Maria Nemeth to name but a few. Using this Lifestyle Financial Planning philosophy, he built his IFA firm (Joslin Rhodes).

Neil remained frustrated that Lifestyle Financial Planning was an intangible concept for many advisers. They understood WHY they should be delivering great Lifestyle Financial Planning but struggled to implement the HOW in their own business. For someone who had come from hospitality and engineering professions that depended on processes, systems, and enshrining best practice, it seemed strange that such a great system as Lifestyle Financial Planning remained an almost ethereal concept for many who wished to implement it.

After all, telling a Trainee Chef WHY their customers need to eat isn’t as helpful as giving them a recipe. Inspiring a young engineer WHY their bridge needs to stand up isn’t as useful as giving them a document of British Standards with the process, design, and structural calculations required.

Chapter 3

The Sticky Tape Evolution

Inspired to design and develop a structured and repeatable process for delivering better Lifestyle Financial Planning, the PlanHappy Lifestyle Financial Planning Process was born. Neil honed and refined over many years in his meeting room with clients until he had a ‘best practice process’ that stood the test of time and was proven.

Remembering how his sticky tape system that he created as a pot washer many years ago had outlasted his time in the role, he set about collating the PlanHappy Lifestyle Financial Planning Process into a documented system that could be used by others.

He segmented this process into a series of stages. Each stage was then broken down into modules for each step of the process with video guides and best practice documents in an easy-to-follow format and PlanHappy was quickly growing into its own.

Chapter 4

Sharing PlanHappiness

Seeing the success that Neil was having with the PlanHappy, other IFAs were keen to get in on the action and implement this unique Lifestyle Financial Planning system into their own businesses.

So, in 2018, PlanHappy was spun out of Joslin Rhodes as a separate company. The mission we set out for this new business was far from simple. Design tried-and-tested Software systems that do exactly what financial planners need it to.

If that wasn’t enough… we also wanted to foster the next generation of planners so we built purpose-built PlanHappy Training, added One-to-One Coaching and created a Community where like-minded professionals could share ideas (and even some referrals!).

After 6.5 years of hard work building and 3 years of beta testing, not to mention over 639K lines of code, we did it – PlanHappy has officially arrived!

Chapter 5


This next chapter is still being written…

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