It was great to hear from Dante De Gori, in our latest interview for Future Talk, that many planners had given feedback that they were enjoying their role helping people through the financial crisis created by the pandemic.
He commented that many planners had told the FPA that it felt great to be needed and working at the coal face with their clients. Which got me to thinking - this is exactly the kind of feeling people expected to have when they became a financial planner. To help people, to be wanted and needed by their clients and to be a trusted guide through good times and bad.
It has, however, been so much more than that for planners over the past five-to-six years. Bad press, scandals, the Royal Commission and education standards mean that for most planners, the job has been way more administration and regulatory compliance than it has been helping people and giving life-changing advice.
Which is why some 5,000 planners have left the industry in the past year, according to Adviser Ratings research. And even more disturbing, fewer than 100 people have joined the profession.
So who does want to be a financial planner and what are their expectations? With so few joining the profession at the moment, it is clear that the job is not one that most university students look to as a desirable job. And yet, the demand for business degrees is still very high according to the university intake this year.
Perhaps this crisis can be used as a prime example of how planners do help people, and get to interact on a daily basis with clients; more than most finance jobs, the goal is helping people improve their lives and those of their families. We definitely need more case studies out there, from planners and their clients, talking about the difference it has made being advised during the most stressful of times.
So as you go about your days helping clients, keep a track of their stories, and the time you spent with them, as well as the difference your advice made. It could help the profession grow in both trust and respect, as well as in talent entering the space, ready to buy your practice and continue a tradition of advice excellence.
After all the talk of not wasting the crisis, it would be great to think the advice profession itself could capitalise on the good work you are doing, and move forward.
Something to think about.
Until next time,
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