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Seven traits of highly effective financial advisers



A quarter of a century ago Stephen R. Covey (1932-2012) wrote an acclaimed management text that set out the ‘seven habits of highly effective people’. A useful corollary would have been the seven habits of highly defective people. The original book, recently dug out of a box in the garage, inspired us to look at the seven traits of highly effective financial advisers.

But what are the seven habits of highly effective people, I hear you ask. In short; 1) Be proactive, 2) Begin with the end in mind, 3) Put first things first, 4) Think win-win, 5) Seek first to understand, then to be understood, 6) Synergize and 7) ‘Sharpen the Saw’ (i.e. balance and renew your personal resources). You can buy the book here.

So here are the seven habits of highly effective financial advisers:

1. Highly effective financial advisers build a real understanding of you and your family’s needs and goals

2. Highly effective financial advisers focus on building a year-round, long-term relationship, with you, not just at financial year end

3. Highly effective financial advisers ask about your values, beliefs, charity interests and the legacy that you want to leave – they never dismiss them

4. Highly effective financial advisers see themselves as wealth managers and offer financial planning and holistic services

5. Highly effective financial advisers send more personal communications and useful articles

6. Highly effective financial advisers have actually entered the 21st century with a strong digital presence, plain English communications and an understanding of the emerging role of social media

7. Highly effective financial advisers are members of the Ethical Investment Association (EIA) – as it means they’re looking at the bigger picture (economic, social and environmental risk) and much more likely to be doing some or all of the above

If you’re looking for advice we would always recommend starting with the EIA who has a list of good financial advisers here.

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