To be a successful Financial Advisor is a highly desirable career option. Especially considering the recent market, with such unpredictable economic events, there is more and more demand for expert Advisors.
We want you to thrive in your career, in this article we will outline the skills and knowledge you will need to achieve this. From acquiring comprehensive knowledge to developing strong communication skills, understanding client needs, embracing technology, building a referral network, maintaining ethical standards, and continuously adapting and learning, these tips should set you up to succeed in your Financial Advice career.
Qualifications to be a successful Financial Advisor
To be successful as a Financial Advisor, it is vital that you are appropriately qualified in order to be regulated to give advice. There are various ways you can go about becoming qualified. The main 2 professional bodies that we typically see people gain qualifications from are the London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF) and the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). The LIBF awards the Diploma in Financial Advice (DipFA) qualification. The diploma comprises 2 units in which you will cover all things financial advice, from data analysis to the FCA. The CII qualification is the Diploma in Financial Planning (DipPFS). It is made up of different modules of which you choose from, so you can personalise the qualification to the areas of advice you are most intrigued by. We have made previous content on both of these qualifications that could be helpful to check out. Both qualifications can be great options depending on your preferences. Check out our video or blog when deciding which is the best for you.
Communication Skills as a Financial Advisor
Whilst being a Financial Advisor, you will have to communicate complex and intricate advice to your clients, so being a strong communicator is a vital skill to be successful as an Advisor. Having excellent communication skills will also cultivate trust between you and your clients. To give your clients the best levels of advice you will have to have a positive relationship, so they are transparent with you about their goals and wishes. When you are advising your clients, you will most likely have to think carefully about the language you use. Using technical jargon could be confusing for your client to understand and therefore, could dampen their experience. As a Financial Advisor, it is also likely that you will network with other Advisors and potential clients. It is more and more common that Advisors are going self employed, a common theme with these positions is the need to self generate a large proportion of leads. Being a great communicator will make you much more successful in this process. Advisors also work closely with Administrators and Paraplanners, having great communication within this team will make the advising process much more smooth.
Assessing your clients needs
Every client you encounter throughout your financial advice career will be different. They will come with their individual desires, attitudes to risks and worries. As an Advisor an important part of your role will be taking the time to understand each client and make sure you know their preferences well before the advising process begins. When onboarding new clients, it will be typical for you to have fact-finding meetings to grasp their situations thoroughly. It is crucial that as an Advisor you know exactly what questions to ask each client in order to grasp a number of factors. Commonly, these questions will surround a client’s overall goals (short term and long term), the time frames they want to see growth within, their retirement plans and options and how much risk they are prepared to consider. By doing this you will be able to provide the best service of advice for your clients. This is also likely to build loyalty, which can lead to higher levels of business for you and even referrals or new leads. Having regular review meetings is also a common task for a Financial Advisor, so you can continue to give long term clients excellent and personal advice. Being a successful Financial Advisor is largely based on the trust you develop with your clients and in following this you will do so.
Embracing technology to help you succeed as a Financial Advisor
The world is turning more and more digital. Technological advancements are happening everyday and financial advice isn’t an exception. To be truly successful as an Advisor long-term, in today’s world embracing technology is key. Technology and softwares will help you perform better in your role also. As an Advisor, you can improve your clients experiences by having a streamlined process. There are financial planning softwares, CRM systems and portfolio management softwares that can all help to improve your processes. Digital platforms can also help you perform better within your team also. There is close communication between an Advisor and a Paraplanner, so the ability to share and work collaboratively on documents could be of huge benefit to you in your position. Social media also gives you countless opportunities to market yourself, which is important as an Advisor. Posts on social media about your services can help you attract new leads which could progress on to be lifelong customers. For many self-employed Advisor roles, using social media to self-generate is a necessity. Countless Advisors have had great success with the leads they accumulate from their different pages, so it is definitely something to consider if you want to succeed. Overall, embracing technology can not only elevate your lead generation and levels of business but it can also help you to become more productive leading to better success in your career.
Industry networking and referrals
Another important part of lead generation for a successful Financial Advisor, is referrals. Providing excellent advice is likely to naturally lead you to more enquiries as people tend to recommend services they are happy with to families and friends. However, referrals don’t stop here. Many successful advisors have built up a referral network, utilising other industry professionals and events. Building good relationships with other professionals that can compliment your services, can lead to many mutually beneficial relationships within the industry with people who will vouch for your services. Many Advisors referral networks will include Mortgage Advisors, Estate Planners, Accountants and Lawyers. There will also be instances in your career where you will collaborate on different cases or clients with other industry professionals, these are all opportunities to build upon your referral network. There are a number of industry events that happen every year as well, which are opportunities to meet professionals that you may not have naturally come across otherwise. Some websites to checkout regarding these events are Adviser home and Professional Adviser.
Maintaining excellent ethical standards
Perhaps the most important part of having a successful career as a Financial Advisor, is keeping your integrity. As an Advisor it is your duty to always act in the best interests of your clients. Finances are a hugely impactful part of everyone’s lives, and your clients are putting a lot of trust in you, a successful Advisor will never disrespect this level of trust. Breaking a client’s trust or acting unethically could cost you massively. You could lose referrals, receive negative press and even lose your career if you are found to seriously break FCA regulation. Maintaining a strong reputation for trust and adhering to your clients interests, will lead to further success in your career due to referrals and higher levels of business. It is also important that you consistently stay up to date with FCA regulations as they will likely change and evolve throughout your career.
The Financial Services industry, like many industries, is constantly changing and growing. The landscape of Financial Services evolves whether that be due to new technologies, laws and regulations or economic events. A successful Advisor is an informed Advisor and to ensure a flourish career you need to keep yourself ahead of the curve. Make sure you are consistently informed on the economy and any changes that may occur as this will directly impact the advice you give. Keeping in close contact with other Financial Advisors can be of benefit also as sharing professional advice and experiences can help you to keep informed . Change should be embraced as it can help you to stay innovative and adapt any strategies. It also may be worth considering pursuing advanced or additional financial advice qualifications. These include the Advanced Diploma in Financial Advice from the LIBF and the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning from the CII. If this is not a route you want to go down however, there are other forms of education you could embark on separate from qualifications. There are often financial advice seminars or talks happening digitally and around the country, which could be a great way to expand on your knowledge.
To succeed as a Financial Advisor, you must combine your technical skills and knowledge with integrity and passion. Financial advice can be an extremely rewarding career option and can be very fulfilling emotionally and financially. If you are considering a career in Financial advice or are looking for a better role, get in contact today.
We have a multitude of different Financial Advisor positions which could be a great fit for you.
You can have a free, no pressure chat with one of our experts about your next career moves.
0208 0044 154