By: Kobus Kleyn, CFP
The financial advice profession is entering a new era of professionalism. Financial advisors must establish themselves as experts in insurance, risk, and wealth management, or what I refer to as holistic Financial Planning.
The first step is to ensure that the financial advisor is a true professional by evolving their roles and raising the standards for the profession. With a focus on the client’s well-being, there is an opportunity for professional financial planners who embrace the professional world and hybrid digital world with technology.
Recent years have seen significant changes in the financial advice profession, focusing on professionalisation and increased regulation. Financial advice providers are now considered professionals and are held to a high standard of expertise and ethical behaviour. This shift towards professionalism has been driven by the need to protect consumers and ensure that they receive high-quality advice.
One of the key ways in which financial advisors can establish themselves as professionals is through education and professional development. The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation is widely recognised as the gold standard in the financial planning profession and is a mark of excellence for financial advisors. The Financial Planning Institute of South Africa (FPI) is the professional body for financial planners in South Africa. It is committed to promoting the highest standards of professionalism and ethical behaviour among its members.
Personal branding is another essential principle to build professionalism. A powerful brand can help financial advisors stand out in a crowded marketplace and establish themselves as professional experts. This can be achieved through digital marketing strategies, such as social media and content marketing, as a thought leader.
Embracing technology and digital platforms is another meaningful way financial advisors can establish themselves as professionals. In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing digital world, financial advisors need to be able to adapt and evolve their business models to meet the needs of their clients. By leveraging technology, financial advisors can provide clients with a more personalised and convenient experience while increasing their efficiency and productivity.
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Offering holistic financial planning is another critical aspect of building professionalism. This means taking a comprehensive approach to financial planning, which includes addressing all aspects of a client’s financial situation. By providing a holistic approach, financial advisors can help their clients to achieve their financial goals and ensure that they are well-positioned for a secure financial future.
Financial advisors must also demonstrate their value to clients to build long-term sustainability. They must also stay current with the latest trends and regulations. This enables them to provide their clients with the most relevant and accurate advice while ensuring they remain compliant. An important aspect of professionalism as a financial advisor is building trust and credibility with clients. It can be achieved through open communication, transparency, and honesty. Financial advisors should be able to clearly explain complex financial concepts and strategies in a way that clients can understand.
Ensuring our advice to clients is long-lived must contain valuable information and wisdom that can be applied to many different situations and contexts. The advice should be based on human experience and common sense, which must remain relevant and valuable over time.
In conclusion, long-lived advice is more than just providing financial advice; it is about building professionalism, expertise, and trust with clients to ensure long-term sustainability. Financial advisors must embrace the professional, hybrid digital, and virtual worlds and provide holistic financial planning to meet the needs of their clients and establish themselves as true professionals in the profession.