Financial advisers play a crucial role in helping individuals and businesses navigate the complex world of finance. While there are many financial advisers to choose from, great advisers possess certain attributes that set them apart from the rest.

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Financial advisers provide valuable guidance and support to clients, helping them make informed decisions and achieve their financial goals. In this article, we will explore the 10 key attributes of great financial advisors, discussing how each attribute contributes to their success and the value they bring to their clients.

1. Purposeful

Great financial advisers have a clear mission to serve their clients and help them reach their goals. They are not driven by financial gain but are genuinely dedicated to doing great work for their clients. They understand that by doing the right thing and putting their clients' interests first, business success will naturally follow. This sense of purpose allows them to build strong relationships with their clients and provide them with the best possible financial advice and solutions.

2. Empathetic

To effectively serve their clients, great financial advisers must have a deep sense of empathy. They understand that they cannot truly help their clients without genuinely relating to them. By assuming their clients' perspective, empathetic advisers are able to put themselves in their clients' shoes and understand what matters most to them. This understanding allows them to tailor their advice and recommendations to their clients' specific needs and circumstances, ultimately providing more meaningful and impactful financial solutions.

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3. Authentic

Authenticity is another key attribute of great financial advisors. They are not afraid to reveal their true selves to their clients, elevating the connection and trust between them. By sharing their own personal stories and experiences, they create an environment of transparency and vulnerability that encourages real communication and fosters trust. Clients appreciate advisers who are genuine and authentic, as it allows for a deeper and more meaningful relationship built on trust and mutual understanding.

4. Intellectually curious

Great financial advisers are always on a path of continuous learning and improvement. They are intellectually curious and constantly search for the most robust solutions for their clients. These advisers understand that the financial landscape is constantly evolving, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends, regulations, and investment strategies is crucial. By being lifelong learners and open to new ideas, they are able to provide their clients with the most relevant and effective financial advice and solutions.

See also: Five things we know about investing

5. Personally inquisitive

Engaged financial advisers have mastered the art of understanding their clients on a personal level. They go beyond the numbers and ask probing questions to uncover what's truly meaningful to their clients. By understanding their clients' views on money and life, these advisers can create personalised financial plans that align with their clients' values and aspirations. This personal touch not only strengthens the advisor-client relationship but also ensures that the financial advice provided is tailored to the individual needs and goals of each client.

6. Quiet

Listening is a crucial skill for great financial advisors. They understand that listening more than they talk is essential to truly understand their clients' needs and goals. Active listening encourages clients to reveal their deeper thoughts and concerns, allowing advisers to provide more relevant and personalised advice. Often, an advisor's best answer is to ask a question that sparks creative analysis and self-discovery in the client. By being quiet and attentive, great advisers create a safe space for clients to express themselves and actively participate in the financial planning process.

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7. Passionate

Great financial advisers have an unwavering desire to do well for others. They are fueled by a strong sense of conviction to do right by their clients, which drives constant improvement in their craft. This passion for helping others motivates them to continually enhance their knowledge and skills, ensuring that they can provide the highest level of service and value to their clients. Passionate advisers truly care about their clients' financial well-being and are dedicated to making a positive and lasting impact on their lives.

8. Entrepreneurial

Running a successful financial advisory practice requires more than just providing good financial advice. Great advisers understand the importance of running their practice as a business and planning strategically for the future. They apply the same high standards to managing their own enterprise as they do to advising their clients. By running a successful firm, advisers can better serve their clients and provide them with the support and resources they need to achieve their financial goals.

See also: Decisions, decisions – how to make the big ones

9. Honest

Great financial advisers understand the importance of setting realistic expectations for their clients. While the best advice may not always be easy to hear, these advisers communicate essential truths about money and investing, ensuring that clients have realistic expectations about their wealth. They are transparent about controllable actions and probable outcomes, helping clients make informed decisions and avoid unrealistic expectations. Honesty is a cornerstone of the advisor-client relationship, and great advisers prioritise open and honest communication with their clients.

10. Disciplined

Effective financial advisers understand the importance of discipline in achieving long-term financial success. They do not let market swings or media messages drive impulsive actions. Instead, they prepare their clients to navigate changing markets and apply discipline at crucial times. This disciplined approach to financial planning and decision-making leads to a more enjoyable and promising financial journey for their clients. By staying focused on long-term goals and avoiding knee-jerk reactions to short-term market fluctuations, great advisers help their clients achieve sustainable financial success.


In conclusion, great financial advisers possess a unique set of attributes that contribute to their success and the value they provide to their clients. By embodying these attributes, financial advisers can forge strong relationships with their clients, provide meaningful and personalised financial advice, and help them achieve their financial goals.

Article adapted from Dimensional.

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