If you are a new financial advisor hoping to make it in the industry, the one question that lingers in your mind is how to be a successful financial advisor.
As if reading your mind, we’ve dug up a wealth of information to help you answer that question.
Today, you’ll learn about:
Keep reading to discover the key to making it big in the financial advice profession.
Prerequisites to Be a Financial Advisor
Getting started in the financial planning industry is simple.
The profession is open to anyone with a desire to help others manage their finances better.
However, employers in the industry recommend that potential advisors have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, risk management, investment management, estate planning, and other finance-related courses.
With a bachelor’s degree, one can apply for an internship in a brokerage firm, a bank, or a registered investment adviser (RIA) firm.
Where an advisor goes for an internship depends on the financial planning services they want to specialize in.
An internship gives new advisors the opportunity to learn first-hand how business is conducted in the financial advisory industry.
They learn crucial aspects of the career such as developing a book of business, marketing, and prospecting for clients.
An internship also sets an advisor up for a job since they’ll have the experience required for an entry-level position.
Once employed, an investment adviser must now focus on acquiring the necessary licenses to buy and sell securities such as mutual funds, stocks, and bonds.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) administers a wide range of licenses.
An advisor can enroll in any of the FINRA licenses as long as they meet the requirements.
It’s important that a young advisor focuses on employers offering in-depth in-house training to entry-level advisors.
With such serious firms, there is a possibility of an advisor getting a mentor to guide them in the early years of their career.
Of equal importance is joining financial planning associations where an advisor can network with other advisors and learn about new market trends.
As an advisor acquires experience in the industry, they can choose to take a certification.
Depending on their interests, an adviser can become a wealth advisor and help high-net-worth individuals manage their wealth.
Additionally, an advisor can choose to be an RIA and open their own practice.
More than that, an advisor can specialize in tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning, or stick to selling investment products.
The financial service industry is open to possibilities.
Aspiring financial planners can get started at any time, as brokerage firms are always looking for entry-level advisors.
How to Be a Successful Financial Advisor
Becoming a successful advisor requires more than academic qualification though education is still important to make it in the industry.
Therefore, to help you navigate the murky waters of the financial planner career path, we share ten tips on how to take your career to the top.
Prioritize Self Care
The path to becoming a successful financial advisor is dotted with busy days with back-to-back schedules.
There’s hardly time to relax.
Thus, the first thing an advisor should do on their path to success is developing a self-care routine.
This should include workout sessions, healthy eating habits, enough sleep, and mental exercises to promote clarity.
Self-care helps an advisor to stay on top of the game.
They can perform better, positively impact staff members, and better deliver to clients.
Have a Clear Vision
Another key to success is for financial planners to define what they want to achieve in clear terms.
What does the future they are working for look like?
An advisor should write down their vision and perhaps display it on a vision board.
They may also choose to record the vision statement and listen to it often.
Reading or listening to the vision statement frequently programs the mind to strive towards it.
A vision guides an advisor to stay on track and actualize their dream.
It also helps a financial advisor to stay the course even when things seem tough.
A clear vision is a compass.
When advisors focus in that direction, they can spot challenges that might deter them from their dream and plan in advance.
They are equally more aware of what adds value to their overall goals and the complete time wasters.
As such, they can drop the baggage and focus on what matters.
Honestly speaking, it’s impossible for an advisor to achieve any success if they don’t have a clearly written vision statement.
Having a vision is one thing, but knowing for a fact that the strategies geared towards that vision are producing results would require an advisor to track their progress.
A new advisor starting out in the industry would want to track their prospecting efforts.
What is the number of new clients? What’s the growth rate of the book of business? And so on.
Other areas that would require tracking include the number of networking events attended, client meetings that yielded results, number of one-time clients and overall client base, average revenue per client, and meetings with the center of influence.
Tracking these variables helps an advisor establish patterns.
They can then identify what’s lagging and put in more effort.
Moreover, tracking helps identify obstacles and thereby develop strategies to overcome them.
Lastly, it’s only by tracking progress that an advisor can stay focused on the goal.
Invest in Self
The world is changing, so is the financial services industry.
For this reason, becoming successful in the industry is closely tied to staying up-to-date with the financial market news, investment management software, and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) continuing education requirement.
To offer clients value, it’s in the advisors’ best interest to keep learning.
While the learning may be in the form of a sit-in class, the online marketplace is flooded with paid and free courses that financial advisors can take advantage of.
If it’s sales and marketing that’s proving tough, then an advisor can enroll for an online course.
Suppose it’s prospecting that denying a new advisor sleep, there are tones of workshops available to help you improve on yourself.
There are also experienced advisors who share their expertise online; perfect places to learn.
Even more important in investing in oneself is acquiring the right licenses and certifications to help clients better.
Being a certified financial planner (CFP), for example, can set an advisor apart, as clients will be delighted to work with a specialist.
Additionally, CFPs are held to fiduciary standards, which is what every client is looking for, an advisor who puts their interest first throughout their working relationship.
The key to continuously add value to a financial advisor career is to set learning time aside despite the busy schedule and practice what one is learning.
A good way to make this a reality is to set a goal: to enroll in one online course in the financial services industry every month or to read financial market news every morning before going to work.
More than setting these goals, an advisor must follow through to see any success.
Seek Peer Review
In the early years of a financial advisor’s career, a new advisor should work hand in hand with a supervisor or a co-worker to help review their financial plans before presenting them to clients.
Peer review gives a new advisor constructive feedback, which can help them improve.
It’s also a good way for an advisor to grow and provide high-quality financial services.
In addition, peer review helps an advisor to build confidence when presenting to clients.
In the long, it’s what helps an advisor improve their craft.
Financial advisors have many responsibilities.
Their days are characterized by administrative tasks, market research, prospecting for new clients, responding to clients’ queries, attending meetings, and the list goes on.
When starting out, these tasks are minimal, but they increase as the advisor gets more clients.
Hence, an advisor should get an assistant to take care of the mundane daily tasks so that they can focus on what matters, growing the business.
Delegating tasks is a great way to cultivate teamwork and explore what the different staff members are good at.
Use Marketing Strategies
To be a successful financial advisor, an advisor must leverage a wide range of marketing strategies.
Referrals from repeat clients are one strategy that always yields results.
An advisor should take the initiative and request long-term clients for a referral from their network.
Other tactics like social media marketing using platforms such as LinkedIn can prove helpful if implemented well.
Offline advertising, like printing flyers or giving out business cards in networking events, is also a great strategy to reach more people.
Sales and marketing should have a budget accompanied by targets for a specified period.
Otherwise, all the marketing efforts will be in vain.
Success in the financial advisory industry is directly proportional to the effectiveness of marketing strategies.
Therefore, advisors must track progress when using various marketing strategies and capitalize on what’s working while twerking or doing away with strategies that don’t yield results.
Take Advantage of Business Coaching
Business coaching is a good investment when it comes to growing a financial advisor’s career.
A business coach can help advisors increase their productivity, focus on their goals, and grow their businesses.
Coaches can help advisors succeed as they hold the financial advisors accountable for every goal set.
Business coaches bring onboard third-party insight into what the advisor could be doing right or wrong.
They then guide an advisor on proven strategies to better manage their financial service business.
Manage Time Effectively
The famous quote by Benjamin Franklin that time is money is particularly true among financial advisors than any other professional.
To grow in the industry, an advisor must take charge of their time.
The best way to go about it is to establish processes that make workflow efficient.
Other practices, like minimizing distractions during work time, are equally efficient.
Time management also implies that an advisor works with a strict deadline, ensuring projects are accomplished on time.
Learn from Mistakes
Mistakes are part and parcel of growth.
In the industry, those who make it are the advisors who are committed to growth no matter how many times they fail.
They learn from their mistakes and try again and again until they get it right.
It’s safe to note that failure is the recipe for success in the financial advisory industry.
Habits of Successful Financial Advisors
What do successful financial advisors do differently that sets them apart from the rest?
Read on to find out.
Receptive to Change
While poor-performing advisors will clench their teeth at the thought of change, successful advisors embrace change because they know it calls for improvement.
Instead of sticking to what they are used to, they continuously explore better ways to serve their clients.
In the same breath, successful advisors are always up-to-date with the technology changes in the market.
They are always learning and implementing new practices that help manage clients’ investment portfolios better.
They are also in touch with the clients’ evolving needs.
Hence, they are always incorporating the best practices to provide clients with individualized financial plans that work specifically for them.
Prioritize Their Clients
Good financial advisors make their clients’ needs a priority.
They understand that their income comes from the financial services they offer.
And so they take care of the one person who makes their career possible, the clients.
Successful advisors capitalize on customer service.
They set themselves apart from the prospecting stage.
These advisors have mastered the art of nurturing client relationships.
They’ve put in place different strategies that promote customer relationships.
These strategies could include simple practices like addressing clients by their name.
Advisors who understand the power of customer relationships are constantly twerking their services to find out what works best for their clients.
They adjust accordingly to make sure their clients feel taken care of at every stage of service offering.
Establish Personal Connections With Clients
To establish a solid book of business, financial advisors do more than just reaching out to clients through phone calls or emails.
They go a step higher and leverage in-person meetings.
Successful advisors know that to connect with clients fully, they must approach them personally, create a safe atmosphere, and give them a sneak peek into their interests, values, and motivation behind their business development.
More than helping with investment portfolio management, clients want investment advisers that resonate with their needs.
They want to know that the advisor is genuinely interested in their financial well-being more than just the business.
Therefore, successful financial advisors go above and beyond to establish an emotional connection with clients.
They thrive in establishing rapport and letting the client know the value they bring to the table.
Even after the client has converted, they constantly stay in touch.
When the prospects feel safe, they can easily share their financial goals and needs.
Establishing a connection with clients is the key to getting repeat clients and referrals.
Take Holistic Approach to Marketing
There is a wide range of marketing strategies.
However, for some reason, advisors sometimes put all their efforts into one strategy that yields results, which is okay, but what happens if it fails?
Social media can help an advisor reach a multitude of users.
But the right thing is incorporating other strategies like phone calls, referrals, email marketing, and cold calling, even when all the leads come from social media.
Successful investment advisors use several marketing strategies to be on the safe side just in case one fails.
They understand the dangers of putting all their eggs in one bucket.
If social media fails or the marketing agency bails out, they know they can still get strong leads from referrals or networking events.
Financial advisors are humans.
Sometimes their financial decisions don’t yield the best results.
Other times, their financial advice is clouded with conflicts of interest.
Just like any other profession, failure is inevitable in the financial advisory industry.
Successful financial planners know this and make the most of their failures.
They accept their mistakes and weaknesses and work towards becoming a better version of themselves.
Because of their ability to accept mistakes, such advisors come out as genuine.
They tend to gain trust among those around them.
Moreover, such advisors take time to focus on their personal growth and reflect on areas they could be better.
Vulnerability in the financial advisory industry is not a weakness, but a strength.
Since challenges are inevitable, it’s the only way an advisor can acknowledge their shortcomings and overcome the challenges that pull them down.
Surround Themselves With People Who Support Them
The energy an advisor gets from those around them can either propel them to success or failure.
That’s why some advisors take way too long to reach their dreams.
And so, to move forward, financial advisors must critically analyze their cycle.
They should cut out family, friends, colleagues, and anyone that drags them down.
What’s the use of maintaining a relationship with a sibling who constantly keeps you up-to-date on the failure rate in the financial advisor industry?
Investment advisors who’ve made it only surround themselves with people who help them grow their careers.
They only relate to individuals who encourage them to be the best version of themselves.
They have mentors, and coaches that hold their hand to help them reach their goals.
Thus, it’s crucial that new advisors take charge of their careers early on by surrounding themselves with people who support them.
Investment advisers are fiduciaries, meaning all the investment products and advice offered must align with the client’s interest.
Since advisors deal with a wide range of clients like high net worth individuals, it’s paramount that financial advisors commit to delivering the best financial services as someone’s money is at stake.
Commitment also alludes to understanding the prospects’ needs before developing a financial plan that will work for them.
Personal financial advisors who’ve made it have established their credibility in the industry by showing clients they are genuine in their practice.
These advisors have established habits that show the client that they have their interest at heart.
Commit to Work-Life Balance
While successful advisors are committed to their work, they equally know where to draw the line.
Good financial advisors have defined when to work and take a break to focus on other areas of life that mean something to them.
Work-life balance helps personal financial advisors deal with stress and avoid burnout.
It’s crucial for an advisor to work at an optimum level.
Prioritize To-Do List
Highly effective financial advisors don’t just start their week without the slightest idea of their daily schedule.
They plan their tasks a day before.
They prioritize important tasks when they are more energetic and the less important for afternoons as they wind up the day.
Prioritizing a to-do list helps advisors to focus and pursue their goals without wasting time.
As such, they can track their daily activities and see if they are meeting their goals.
From there, they can work out the best way to increase their productivity.