You’ve done the exams, you’ve set up a practice, you’re starting to attract clients; how can you fulfil your potential as a financial adviser?
Opting to become an adviser looks a great career choice. FCA figures from the end of 2015 show that there are 22,500 advisers in the UK, one for every 2,300 adults. With pension reforms and the broadening scope of the advice sector, the industry is crying out for new advisers.
So how can you become a really successful adviser and fulfil your potential? We spoke to our biggest clients to find out how they did it. We have provided a summary below, but you can read the full document here.
Compliance is an obvious starting point, but falling foul of the regulator will cost you money and your reputation. With new regulation constantly being introduced, it can be a difficult area to stay on top of. Outsourcing is one way of helping but you need to know the regulations – no matter who you outsource to, the buck stops with you when it comes to breaking the rules.
This is something that you can’t buy and is easy to achieve. It will also earn you referrals via word of mouth. If you treat your clients with respect and offer them the best service that you can, all of the time, then they will recommend your services to their friends and family. If you try and make a fast buck out of them, the walls will soon close in.
Another easy to achieve aspect of this list. Just by simply listening to your clients during your meetings with them, and getting an in depth understanding of their goals and objectives, you will build up trust and confidence and be better positioned to align your services to their needs.
The devil is always in the detail, so it is imperative to fully understand any products and services that you are recommending to your clients. It can be time consuming, but will put you on a much surer footing in advising specific strategies to your clients.
Investors are increasingly seeking online solutions for their finances. They are increasingly expecting a digital service from their financial advisers, too. Not only can technology help your clients, it can help you. By moving your business processes online, you can increase your efficiency, aid compliance and reduce the time taken to provide great client service, leaving you more time to focus on the actual advising. That is, after all, what you’ve signed up for!
You should carefully consider the type of clients that you want. With planning, you can service a wide range of clients and be profitable, you don’t need to solely focus on high net worth individuals. Generation X and Millennials will have advice needs in the future, too, and are the ‘wealth in waiting’. Technology is also linked to this point. With the correct business management system in place, you can service a wider range of clients.
Safely storing client data is imperative to your success. Any breach and you will soon be in hot water. You need to exchange information, such as personal details, fact finds and contracts, securely with your clients.
You are always on the hook, so treat your client’s portfolio as if it is your own. Matching investments carefully with your client’s risk appetite is imperative. You will be liable if mistakes are made.
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are great ways to interact with clients and attract new business. You should be fully aware, however, of the FCA’s rules around financial promotions on social media.
You can always improve! Qualifying is merely the first hurdle and you will become a better adviser over time as you grow your client base and get real life experience of the industry. So be patient and consider your processes and evolution carefully.