The pathway towards financial planning best practice
Financial advice has dominated headlines since the Royal Commission exposed the need for ethical understanding and effective client management. The financial services sector is under increased regulatory and consumer scrutiny and must move fast to repair its badly shaken reputation.
In today’s environment, interpersonal or ‘soft’ skills are increasingly valued by employers. While financial acumen and industry knowledge are essential financial planner job skills, top attributes also include active listening, critical thinking and decision-making. Technical ability is most useful when it is paired with self-awareness and emotional intelligence that supports mature risk-assessment and end-user advice.
Why soft skills are important for financial planners
A successful career in financial planning involves more than giving dependable financial advice. Financial advisors are the point of contact between consumers and complex products, which requires diverse financial planner knowledge and skill requirements.
Numbers matter and must be explained well. Advisors need to be ready to communicate without resorting to jargon, and without losing the clients’ interest or trust. They must also be able to communicate well in a professional setting and operate effectively within a team.
Research from Deloitte Australia found that as we head towards a market tailored to the consumer, advisors will need to work with their clients and encourage them to be ideators, innovators and market advocates.
Unsurprisingly, interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence are attributes that differentiate leading advisors in the minds of clients.
These industry trends are recognised in the new FASEA standards for financial planners. These standards require financial planners to comply with a code of ethics for client care and quality process, including values such as trust, competency, honesty, fairness and diligence.
Advisors who adopt a people-first approach, listen carefully, and use emotional and intellectual intelligence will build stronger relationships with clients. A commitment to developing these skills will foster more appropriate advice and better outcomes for both advisor and client.
How are soft skills differentiating humans and tech?
The emergence of disruptive technologies is rapidly reshaping the future of work in the global financial services sector.
Technology enhancements enable the automation of routine technical tasks from data collection to aggregation. However, financial planners increasingly rely on critical thinking, emotional intelligence and problem solving to analyse what technology is saying and to decide the best course of action.
When embraced and implemented correctly, technology is not about replacing financial planners. It is about enabling advisors to focus on delivering more efficient, engaging and personalised advice to clients.
Develop important financial planning career skills and knowledge at QUT Online
The Graduate Diploma in Business (Financial Planning) is a FASEA-approved course available through QUT Online. Developed in close consultation with key leaders in industry, the course enables graduates to develop technical skills as well as the interpersonal communication skills essential to a successful career in the changing industry.
To find out more about how this course can help you meet the new FASEA requirements and prepare for an effective career in the industry, book a call with one of our course consultants.