A personality survey of over 130 investment and pension advisers has revealed that conscientiousness was the biggest driver of success.
Advisers were measured on five personality traits: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, intellect and emotional stability.
The survey also measured financial metrics as well as adviser’s happiness to determine how those traits correlated with levels of success.
Advisers also show high levels of intellect, or openness to experience, which have been advantageous during the substantial regulatory changes since the Retail Distribution Review (RDR).
The characteristics are a shift away from the extroverted sales-oriented adviser associated with the pre RDR era.
What are the key qualities of a financial adviser?
Jon Doyle, founder and financial planner at Juniper Wealth Management says: “I think the key qualities an adviser needs are emotional intelligence, self-discipline and resilience. Some of the best and most successful advisers I know are introverts and this absolutely should not be confused with shyness or quietness.
“I’d question the logic of building an advice team solely around extraverts as often advisers work alone or in very small teams and extraverts may struggle with this. However, put an emotionally intelligent adviser in a room with a client, regardless of introversion and extroversion, and you will get a client who feels listened to, understood and respected.
“Add this to self-discipline and resilience and you have an adviser who understands their clients, themselves and how best to arrange their working life to best achieve their personal and the business’ outcomes.”
“The public perception of the financial advice sector is often tainted by past practices, unfairly characterising advisers as extraverted, high pressure and hard salesmen whose central goal is to sell a product.”
Mark Pittaccio, behavioural economist and business consultant says: “The public perception of the financial advice sector is often tainted by past practices, unfairly characterising advisers as extraverted, high pressure and hard salesmen whose central goal is to sell a product.
“In reality the research shows that today’s successful advisers correlate positively with high levels of conscientious and an ability to embrace new challenges. Shifting perceptions away from outdated stereotypes towards the traits of professional advisers is crucial so people who need financial advice feel they can get trusted advice.”
Scott Stevens, head of adviser recruitment and development for Quilter Financial Advisers comments: “With 7,000 advisers due to retire in the next few years bringing more people into the industry is crucial. But it’s not enough to just have more advisers, we need the right advisers.
“This research provides us and our member firms with the tools to not only showcase why being an adviser is a brilliant career, but also ensure that when candidates come to us, they are a good fit. Ensuring the resilience of the advice industry is crucial for the wellbeing of the nation as face to face advice provides not only better financial outcomes for their clients but also peace of mind.”