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Five things I've learned - IFA Jessica McGuigan

02 October 2019

Jessica McGuigan, a financial planner at Critchleys in Oxford, is a big advocate of getting young people, especially women, into financial planning...

Woman using tablet and mobile

1 Relationships matter

While money is important to clients, it is the relationship between the adviser and client that is paramount. For clients, having a trusted relationship with someone they can relate to and have confidence in is much more important.

Advisers are essentially invited into clients’ lives, where they share their personal circumstances and lifetime goals and you are there to support and guide them along their journey. Clients come to us at points of high levels of stress and this requires us to be honest, approachable and empathetic to their needs.

2 Learn from your mentors

Take any opportunity that you are offered to learn from or shadow more experienced advisers. You will learn what works (and what doesn’t!) and you can use this to hone your own set of soft skills.

3 Keep it simple

As a relatively young and new adviser, I found it easy to slip into the mistake of trying to impress my clients with technical knowledge and industry jargon. I learned that what I need to do is explain financial matters in a way that is simple, so that the client understands. This helps to instil further trust in me as an adviser and aids my client relationships.

4 Take time to prepare

Spending that extra bit of time preparing for a meeting with a client is incredibly important. You can do this by looking at their personal circumstances, anticipating if there are likely to have been any changes since the last meeting, and making sure you try to have an answer or explanation for any question or advice matters that might arise. This enables you to go into the meeting feeling confident, which is reassuring for the client.

5 Never stop learning

The financial services sector is constantly evolving, with ever changing regulation, legislation and taxation. Stay up to date with these changes as and when they occur and ensure you can clearly communicate them to clients. This will enable you to adapt their financial plans accordingly, utilise their allowances and provide the highest level of continued support. You will learn what works (and what doesn’t!).

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