Here is some advice about a financial services career
If you want a career that is challenging, mentally stimulating and fulfilling, consider a financial services career.
After nearly two decades in the industry, including eight years as co-founder of a financial services business, I have watched many people succeed beyond their expectations. But many have failed, sometimes spectacularly. Here are some pointers that will help you become successful and avoid failure in a financial services career.
- Be an advisor
When you’ve decided upon a financial services career, try to become a trusted advisor to your clients. Ensure this relationship lasts for life. With a long-term focus on relationships, you are not tempted by short-term goals. These could compromise your advice. In everything that you do, put the client first. Even before your employer’s priorities. This is especially true if your internal integrity radar is alerting you to potential problems. You might change employers on many occasions over your career. But you always take your reputation with you. Never compromise your integrity. You will be the ultimate loser, not your employer.
Be happy and proud of the work you do in your financial services career. Remember, it’s always about people. Try to work with people and companies you admire.
- Money isn’t everything
It’s not about the money! A financial services career is not a get-rich-quick scheme. If this is your aim, find something else to do. Preferably outside of financial services.
There are people who have accumulated significant personal wealth in financial services. But this is a by-product of their success in their careers. If you research the world’s most successful business leaders (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett and Richard Branson), you’ll find they did not start out to become rich. All of them had a bigger goal. Their wealth is a result of their success in their chosen fields. If your primary aim is to get rich, you will take shortcuts at the wrong time.
- Don’t predict anything
If you manage money in a financial services career, clients often expect you to tell them where stock markets are going in the next few months. What will interest rates do? Or, what is going to happen in the currency markets? Statistically, if you tell the future it will be wrong. This is going to damage your credibility. Being constantly wrong is not a great way to build your professional reputation. Rather be honest. Tell others you have no idea what is going to happen. Neither does anyone else.
- A public profile helps with a financial services career
Build a public profile for yourself. Write, present and educate people about money. Create a reputation as a knowledgable person. Write regular articles and get these published. The internet is a great forum for getting exposure. You can use your social media profile to broadcast your articles. Try to get on radio and TV often. Always make yourself available to the media.
- Get skilled
Work on your interpersonal skills, especially client coaching skills. Technical knowledge is important. But it is only the first step. There are many technically knowledgable people in our industry. Very few of them can impart this knowledge in the proper way.
- Be available
Always be available to your clients. Especially if you have to give them bad news. Investment managers in financial services careers tend to hide from their clients when markets are falling. This is a cardinal sin! Always return phone calls and emails within one working day. This builds trust with clients and reminds them you are there for them.
In summary, when you embark on your financial services career, protect your integrity at all cost. Focus on your clients and their goals. Develop a long-term game plan. In this way you will build a wonderful and constructive life for yourself, your family and your clients.
Will you have enough money when you retire? Thinking of investing? Wondering how to repay your debt? Where to invest your money?
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