What are the key skills for financial planners working with business owners?

Written By Steps To Faculty Published July 26th, 2010

In an earlier article, we examined what you should look for in a financial planner; now is a good time to look at what skills a financial planner should have if he or she hopes to serve adequately in what can be a very demanding profession. In this instance, some skills you might not consider as being important are actually hugely important – and you should look out for them before you give your business to any financial adviser. Below are three skills that financial planners must have if they hope to secure your business.

Step 1: Skill 1 Ability to synthesize disparate data

It does not require rocket science to see that people who cannot synthesize conflicting or complex data – or who cannot identify long-term trends present in data – are of no use to any client. When looking for a financial planner, the best thing you can do is to seek out a professional opinion from a former client or to give a prospective service provider a complex – but not hugely important – matter that you want them to solve. For instance, if there is a part of your company that is under-performing, but the under-performance is not imperiling the bottom line, then you may want to get a new financial planner to look at the matter so that he or she can determine what the best long-term solution is. To ensure that the person in question is really ‘on the ball,’ it never hurts to get them offer a written explanation of why they arrived at the findings they did – and what trends they noticed and why these trends are important.

Step 2: Skill 2 Ability to communicate

This does not sound very important but it really is quite important; after all, if they cannot explain in clear language why something is not working, then how can you possibly hope to implement their solutions? Look for financial planners who avoid technical jargon or who back up such jargon with clear definitions you can understand. As much as anything else, you want to have a planner who can help you make sense of the wider world – not leave you with a furrowed brow and uncertain as to what course to take.

Step 3: Skill 3 they must know how to deal with people

Here is the thing: when you are looking for a truly skilled financial planner, how he or she deals with other people is hugely important. If the person in question appears curt, abrupt – either with staff or with the secretary or with you – then this person is probably someone who has difficulty dealing with unexpected new challenges and is surely someone who cannot keep multiple balls juggling in the air. It may be a small matter in the eyes of some, but a financial planner who is distant or brusque is probably someone who lacks the capacity to handle the unpredictable ups and downs of working with a business enterprise; this is certainly someone to avoid.

Overall, financial planners must have certain skills; the three above are widely recognized as the three most important. If they are lacking the first two in particular, then you should probably look elsewhere for advice and assistance.

1 Comment


Roger Due

Investing in Your Destiny® & Coaching Program - Wealth Building Summit Dallas, Texas

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