Career advice for new financial advisers

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4 mins read
Categories: Empowering you

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Getting it right the first time is even better. That's why we've roped in three industry experts to share the biggest challenges they've faced in their careers, what they’ve learnt and their career advice for new financial advisers.

Now and then, every financial adviser – no matter how successful they are – gets blindsided by an unexpected curveball.

Below, two financial advisers and one Commonwealth Bank Financial Planning Manager share the challenges they've had to overcome throughout their careers and the lessons they’ve learnt from experience.

Bruno Strazdins, Financial Adviser at Southern Wealth Centre

If Strazdins could impart one piece of wisdom to a younger version of himself, it would be to have a written, clearly articulated plan that outlined his ideal client.

“Then compile a plan as to how to find that type of client and forge a business around that objective,” says Strazdins, who joined the industry as an adviser back in 1991.

Strazdins says one of the biggest mistakes he’s made in his career was aligning his business with AFSL licensees and product providers who didn't have mutual values or objectives.

“Be careful whom you partner with. These misalignments were usually precipitated by change of management, which led to significant change in the focus and objectives,” says Strazdins.

“I overcame these by proactively changing AFSL licensees and product providers, which is both time consuming and challenging.”

His advice to young advisers is simple: get close and stay close to your clients.

“They will support you, engage you, appreciate and refer you,” he says.

“Economic conditions, products, suppliers and governments are all transient, and all of which you have little or no control over. However, you do have total control over the relationship you have with your client, which will persist through all adversities and celebrations.”

Tom Huntley, Financial Planning Manager at Commonwealth Bank

Huntley has spent almost 15 years at Commonwealth Bank, including as a paraplanner, Business Development Manager and Financial Planning Manager.

Huntley says, as a financial planner, your time and expertise is best spent with your new and existing clients.

It's therefore important to figure out how you can maximise that time, and minimise the time you spend on non-essential and repetitive tasks that can be outsourced.

“A financial planner needs to be well prepared before interacting with their client. Are you 100% focused and engaged on the current interaction? Every person that sits in front of you needs help in some way and you need to make sure you provide the opportunity and environment to be able to do this every single time,” says Huntley.

Justin Chandler, Principal at Chandler Private Wealth

Chandler started providing financial advice in 2010, before setting up his own practice in 2015.

In terms of professional development, Chandler says early on in his business he was trying to do everything himself and control everything.

“I have learnt to trust other people with certain tasks and to build a great team of people around me to share the load. I like to have balance in my life,” he says.

And his final words of wisdom for new advisers? Learn to handle rejection well, until you get more confidence and experience.

“Also, don’t be afraid to say no to clients or referral partners if they may not be a good fit for you or your business,” he says.

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Important: This article has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial or taxation situation or needs of any particular individual. Before acting on the information, you should consider its appropriateness to your circumstances and if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice. Any information used in this article is for illustrative purposes only. Chandler Private Wealth and Southern Wealth Centre are external entities that are not members of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group of Companies (the Group) and the content or any view expressed by Chandler Private Wealth and Southern Wealth Centre and its employees does not represent an endorsement, recommendation, guarantee or advice in regard to any matter. CBA, nor members of the Group accept any liability for losses or damage arising from any reliance on external parties.