What it Takes to be a Good Financial Planner

By: Chris Bowmer
Director
Fortitude

“The job of a planner is 95% people skills and 5% technical skills, but you need to know 100% of the 5% technical”.

Ten Qualities

1 Listening skills

Did you really hear what the client said? Have you concentrated on their words and non-verbalisations? Have you understood, remembered and responded appropriately so the client really knows that you have heard?

2 Emotional intelligence

Being able to see through a client’s words and into their heart. Vital to this understanding is “we do not have the right to talk about your money before we understand what it needs to do for you”.

3 Fiduciary Mindset

Acting in the clients best interests at all times is all about attitude, recommending action where there is a conflict (and there often is) must be easy to do. You can set processes (e.g. always repay debt before investing) but it must be automatic to always think this way.

4 Trustworthy

There are many circumstances where the fiduciary relationship is tested but to be worthy of Trust requires it all the time – “ethics is what you do when no one is watching”.

5 Technical Expertise

Ideally one would be an expert in all the things we need to do, but the complexity of today’s landscape suggests this is unlikely. What you do need is to know when the limits of your knowledge are reached and to seek help.

6 Leadership

Clients goals and thought processes are subjective by definition. They need an adviser to be objective acting as mentor and Trusted adviser, leading and not order taking.

7 Wisdom

The ability to talk about what a client needs, not what a client wants requires an understanding of the client’s real objectives. It requires an ability to have a discussion, or disagreement with the client.

8 Vulnerability

The ability to say ‘I don’t know’ is a start; it is more human and is likely to find deeper relationships with clients.

9 Consistency (fortitude)

Sticking to a plan through thick and thin is hard; it is easier when a strategy to cope is created at the outset.

10 Ability to say no

Find another good adviser in your area willing to take on the clients you do not work well with.


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