This is the most important quality a financial adviser should have

according to OCBC’s Head of Wealth Advisory & Specialists

What makes a good adviser?

Many of you start thinking of designations, technical knowledge and financial tools etc. While these are important to run a successful practice, they may not be the most essential qualities that make a good adviser. Having an absolute passion for financial planning, top-notch management skills and a deep analytical ability are some of the qualities that may differentiate an average financial adviser from an excellent one.

Read also: Persuading and selling are not the only skills you need to have as a financial adviser

According to Mr Thomas Tan, Head of Wealth Advisory & Specialists, OCBC, the most important quality is being honest and transparent.

The word ‘transparency’ is a popular watchword in management circles. Although public interest in the activities of a company may not be new, what was once the hobbyhorse of activists and investors has now spread to the mainstream. The financial advisory industry is no exception. Advisers ought to maintain transparency with their prospects and clients. By providing credible data and accurately proposed plans to clients, you are enabling them to become more informed to make better decisions.

Maintaining transparency is also a way for you to show your expertise in money matters. It can be tiresome and time-consuming to explain advanced concepts such as maybe why you think buying index fund is better than investing in hedge funds. By explaining the process and your reasoning, you are seen as the expert in the field and so, it becomes easier for your clients to buy into your recommendations. You can also maintain transparency by walking your clients through your decision-making process in detail and throw them a few more options so that they can exercise their own judgement as well.

Trust follows transparency. When you are transparent with your plans and propositions, clients tend to trust you easily. By practising transparency, you not only create a safe space for your clients but you also subtly inform them that you’re an ethical adviser. In a world where people are increasingly skeptical, this is an essential asset to bring to your client meeting. Transparency coupled with trust supports sustainable growth. Clients are more likely to recommend you to their friends and family. We all know how financial advisers thrive on word-of-mouth recommendations, so find the right tools to help build the trust in your first client meeting. A stand-up attitude, willingness to help your clients and the right tool can help you become a competent financial adviser.

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