How to ‘thrive’ in financial advice

Financial advisers need to be able to delegate work away and take a proactive approach to increased regulation if they want to thrive in the industry.

Speaking at the Association of Financial Advisers conference, Dr Adam Fraser said a survey of financial advisers by AIA Australia had indicated there were four factors which characterised ‘thriving advisers’.

These were good wellbeing, positive mental health, high engagement and running a good business. Research from Fraser had found that advisers in particular had suffered high levels of burnout.

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“They are very, very connected and understand their role, it’s not just about protecting the client, they have a laser-focus and clarity about what their job brings,” he said.

One of the biggest issues had been the increase of regulation, educational requirements and compliance and Fraser said the main difference was that thriving advisers were still frustrated with the requirements but were able to cope better.

“Thrivers are still frustrated with change, it wasn’t as if they weren’t, they didn’t have a utopian mindset about the changes but they were able to focus on the end goal in a way that people who weren’t coping found difficult,” he said.

“Those who weren’t thriving were very angry and yelling at us and letting that anger control them, they were getting overwhelmed.

“One group was able to take more proactive action and accept a new reality whereas the other group were fighting against that.”

Panellist Kate Tierney, adviser at RSM Financial Services Australia, said she was positive about undertaking ongoing education as she “never stopped learning” and that it inspired her to be the best she could be for her clients.

Another way for advisers to cope with the change was to delegate away tasks which weren’t compatible with their skillset. Research found those 43% of ‘thrivers’ did less administration, 97% did less compliance and 83% spent more time on new business.

This was echoed by panellist, Michael Bova, founder and managing director of Family Wealth Advisory, who said advisers should avoid trying to micromanage all the changes that were happening.

“You start out and you want everything in your control but you should work out what you are good at and what you like doing and then put in a plan to delegate everything else away. When I’m doing things like reviews, that takes me away from the client relationship,” Bova said.

“You need to spend time in areas where you add value for clients and that meet your value proposition, if you have faith that you will deliver value then you can afford to outsource.”

Fellow panellist, Ray Albrighton, adviser at Private Wealth Partners, added advisers needed to “step back to move forward” and trust their staff to do the work correctly.

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97% of thrivers do "less compliance" maybe they are thriving and happy as they haven't caught up with the industry. If I was doing less compliance I'd probably be thriving too.

Yep, I am reducing admin, reducing compliance and only working on new business. I guess I will do well for the next 12 months or so.....

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