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Five minutes with… Michelle Hoskin

Founder and director of Standards International, Michelle Hoskin, part of the speaker lineup at the upcoming Money Marketing Interactive conference, talks about the good, the bad and the ugly of the profession’s obsession with standards.

What one word or phrase do you think sums up the state of the financial planning profession today?

Still not got it! Financial professionals today are continuing to obsess over the wrong thing! In the past it has been sales targets and how they get paid and now we have this continued obsession with how qualified everyone is! We are all focused on turning an industry into a profession yet the general marketplace continues to miss the point and fails to see what a profession actually looks like and how we can turn the ship at all.

What do you think marks out a truly innovative planning practice today?

Their desire and drive to change how everything is done. Small incremental changes (or tweaks as I call them) will make no major difference to how things are done or to the success of the firm.

True, innovation comes from real change and real change comes from being brave! Add to this most planners and practice principles are not looking far enough into their own future or the future of their business. They are getting wrapped up in the lives of their clients- and rightly so when they are planning with a client- but that focus must be redirected back into the planner’s business at the earliest opportunity.

What should we be doing to get more new advisers into the profession?

Stop talking about how smart everyone has to be to be any good! Yes qualifications are the benchmark 100% but they do not make an amazing or successful financial planner. Financial services require a range of skills, abilities and attributes. Academia is not the be all and end all of what makes our profession great.

With the public and professional obsession with technical knowledge we are putting the magic act of financial planning and financial advice onto an academic pedestal. This continues to be detrimental to the growth of the sector as a whole!

Michelle is speaking on a panel looking at how to reward your top advisers at MMI London. Register for your free place here.

What is the one key skill all aspiring advisers should learn?

Passion – this is probably one of the only skills that you can’t teach. In order to be successful in financial services (and I mean really successful!) you have to love this business more than life itself. It’s a calling – a job that requires a huge amount of love for what we do and the value that we add.

We are changing lives of clients and all those around us every day but it’s not easy. The regulators, professional bodies and the general demands from across the sector are constantly trying to bump us off track. So your passion needs to be far greater than the pain.

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  1. Spot on Michelle, sensible article at last

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