Four daily tasks of successful financial planners

  • Staff Reporter | May 24, 2018
Financial Planning - Skills

What does a day as a financial planner look like?

There were over 24,000 financial planners registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission in 2017, and while the scope and specialisation of their work vary widely, there’s a handful of tasks that nearly every financial planner regularly undertakes.  

Being in the know

Financial markets and products are constantly changing. As a financial planner, it’s your job to stay on top of the movements of the economy, any changes to regulatory environments, how financial products are performing, and what’s new on the market.
 
These are complex subjects, so you’ll need to have a solid understanding of the workings of the economy as well as an inquiring mind and the ability to quickly take in lots of different information from varied sources and identify patterns.
 
Fortunately, reading this information is something you can learn as part of your qualification to become an ASIC-registered financial planner operating under an Australian Financial Services Licence.  

Meeting with clients

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Financial planners work with businesses and individuals to help them achieve their financial goals. You’ll work with your clients to create financial plans which set out step-by-step strategies and products which will help grow their wealth over time.  
 
One of the most important meetings a financial planner will have with their clients is the initial meeting where you’ll discuss their financial goals, current situation (Do they have debt? Assets? What’s their lifestyle like?) and how open they are to engage with risk.
 
You’ll create a personalised financial plan for your clients and meet with them again to talk it through. The best financial planners can communicate complex financial concepts clearly to their clients and answer any questions the clients have. 

The Financial Planning Process

Staying on track

While it’s great to bring new clients on board, no less important is meeting with existing clients to review the status of their financial plan.
 
Most of the work for this meeting will be done beforehand when you’ll crunch the numbers and create a report of your findings and insights. You’ll meet with the clients to go over the plan, discussing whether anything has changed with their goals or lifestyle since you last saw them.  
 
There are benefits for both you and your clients in building a strong, trusting relationship.
 
The Queensland University of Technology found financial planning clients saw their best results from working with a planner over the long term, from five to 10 years. The majority of the clients surveyed said financial advice made a positive contribution to their financial well-being and to a range of psychological wellbeing factors, including a sense of security (83 percent), financial wellbeing (82 percent), sense of control (78 percent) and peace of mind (77 percent).

Updating your skills

There’s no rest for the wicked, and financial planners work hard to stay up to date with their professional development. This could be through additional qualifications like a postgraduate certificate, working on your soft skills, or gaining CPD points with the Financial Planning Association of Australia.
 
Professional development could help you hone your existing skills or expand your knowledge to allow you to provide advice in different areas of expertise.
 
Join the ranks of Australia’s financial planners
 
Thinking of becoming a financial planner? Get qualified through one of Australia’s great Registered Training Organisations. Find out more here.
 

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