The Top 7 Qualities for a Financial Professional to Have

On your journey to becoming a financial advisor or agent, you’ve likely gone to school and sat through rigorous licensing exams. Maybe you were inspired by a relative or a financial professional in your community, or perhaps you were driven by a desire for helping others. Whatever their journeys look like, top advisors tend to share a few of the same traits.

What Makes a Good Financial Advisor?

Being a “good” financial professional is subjective. What one client considers good may be vastly different from another’s definition, and that’s okay! Different people have different needs, so their advisors should be different, too. But we’ve found that top advisors have at least some of the following characteristics:

1) Empathy

The ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand their feelings is paramount for financial advisors and agents. Your clients may have a lot of fear and anxiety when it comes to their money and their future, and it’s important that you understand those concerns. Empathy is an important part of building relationships outside of the office as well.

2) Authenticity

You should be genuine and authentic in everything you do to help your clients. If your clients get the feeling that you don’t truly care for them, they may be reluctant to share their lives – and their business – with you. Authenticity often involves being open about your own shortcomings and failures, which is why many people struggle with it. But it is also about truly enjoying the work you do.

3) Desire for knowledge

Top financial advisors and agents are always on the hunt for new knowledge. Whether that means pursuing further education outside of their license requirements or simply staying up to date on the latest marketing and investment trends, you should never stop learning. 

4) Growth mindset

Having a growth mindset means you believe your talents and abilities can be developed through hard work (and other factors). Some studies suggest that people with growth mindsets are, in general, more successful than those with fixed mindsets. And it’s no wonder – if you genuinely believe that your aspirations are attainable provided you put in the work, what could possibly stand in your way?

5) Honesty/trustworthiness

This one should not come as a surprise to you. Some people consider financial professionals to be as untrustworthy as lawyers, which can be a big problem when trying to attract new prospects. The key is here is simple: be honest. This means being transparent with your clients about the risks they may face and not hiding from them when they ask tough questions. This goes hand in hand with authenticity. 

6) Dedication

Top financial advisors and agents – and professionals in general – are of course dedicated to what they do. You often cannot be successful at something you attempt only half-heartedly; you need to give it all you’ve got to reach the top. In this case, a dedication to your clients’ success as well as your own will show that you care about more than money.

7) Proactivity

Being proactive is a top concern for many clients when it comes to their money. They want to know that you’ll go the extra mile to help protect their savings before disaster strikes. It’s about more than money management – people like having their needs anticipated.

At the end of the day, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t possess all of these qualities. What matters most is a passion for helping people – everything else is just a bonus.

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