Tips from the Top 10 advisers

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Wealth Professional interviewed the top 10 financial advisers from our inaugural Top 50 Advisers competition, and here are a few common themes that came up on how to be a successful adviser:

Training for everyone

As expected, everyone said expertise and knowledge was important, but not just for you.

Brett Strong of Australian Financial Services said everyone in his office had at least their advanced diploma of financial planning, including the administrative staff.

“This is important as every person in your team needs to behave professionally with clients on occasion when dealing with them.”


In order to meet your clients’ needs you should have a clear understanding of what they are first.

“A good financial planner is one that can take a client down a sometimes complex path whilst making the process understandable,” said Anthony Stedman of Advice Evolution.

Listening is crucial to the relationship, as well as regularly revisiting the client’s objectives.

Shane Nicholas from RetireCare Personal Wealth Management said he has picked up new business from clients who had lost faith in their planners because they hadn’t been called back – could those be your clients?

Ability to change

It has been harped on since the FoFA reforms were announced, and will continue until they are fully integrated – change or fail.

But it’s not just the reforms, clients are also changing. They are taking a more proactive approach and successful advisers say the industry needs to keep up.

“As clients become more educated, do [they] want to receive advice from a planner who is part of a larger banking/funds manager style dealer group, or will they value advice from a planner free of the influences and demands of a vertically integrated model?” said Anthony Stedman of Advice Evolution.


Many of the top 10 said being un-aligned to major corporations offered an added bonus their success.

As mentioned above, Stedman said clients would steer away from those ‘tied’ to a specific set of products.

Neal Dunne of The Advice Exchange said there was an opportunity for privately owned firms to offer viable alternatives.

What are your top tips?