Skills You Need as a Financial Professional

When it comes to being successful as a financial professional, financial knowledge and strong mathematical skills are just the tip of the iceberg. In other words, a finance professional who is highly knowledgeable, but can’t perform the basic functions of the position, will never make it. If you want to stick around, get ahead, and be successful in a financial position, you will also need to master these essential skills.

#1. Communication:

Crunching numbers is essential when you’re a financial professional, but you won’t get far if you’re unable to clearly communicate that information to others. This is especially important for financial advisors and accountants, for example, who may be working with members of the public and business owners who have little knowledge of the financial system. Being able to clearly explain complicated financial products and services in layman’s terms is crucial for any financial professional. You’ll need to be able to communicate your knowledge with strong written, verbal, and presentation skills.

#2. Relationship Management:

You may be good with numbers but if you’re not good with people, you’re going to struggle as a financial professional. In order to succeed, you will need a range of people skills including understanding different personality types, strong listening skills, conflict resolution skills, and being able to educate and counsel your clients. For financial advisors, in particular, much of their job involves providing support and advice to people who are experiencing difficulty with money. Perhaps they spend or borrow too much, don’t save enough, or are saving too much. What they need is an unbiased, approachable advisor who is able to understand their needs and provide guidance on making better financial decisions.

#3. Organisation and Attention to Detail:

Essentially, any task that takes more than just a few minutes to complete is a project, and as a financial professional, you’ll need to manage all projects that you take on efficiently in order to be successful and profitable. To succeed, you will need to be effective and efficient at time management, budget management, and the ability to meet deadlines. And, you’ll need to have the ability to get what you need from others in order to successfully complete a project. Paying strong attention to detail both before, during and after a project is key to success. And, it’s crucial to have both electronic and physical files organised well so that you are able to access any information that you need quickly.

#4. Sales and Marketing:

Sales and marketing skills are essential as a financial professional, particularly if your role involves selling your own services or the products and services of a company to others. And, any financial professional needs to have the ability to market their professional skills and knowledge to prospective customers in their market. Whether you work for a company or are self-employed, you will need to have a solid understanding of both your personal and your firm’s professional strengths. And, when it comes to marketing your services to clients, it’s not always about how much you know – rather, it’s important to be able to market how much you care about helping them better manage their money in order to better provide for their family’s long-term needs.

#5. Tech Savvy:

No matter where you work or which financial role you have, you’ll need to be computer literate at the very least in order to succeed. You’ll need to be proficient with both computer hardware and software and able to quickly pick up the use of new programs quickly. Proficiency in Excel is essential; the more shortcuts, functions, keys, and programs that you know, the easier it will be for you to do your job quickly. And, it’s a wise idea to familiarise yourself with a range of marketing and communication software programs.

#6. Qualifications:

Last but not least, there are several additional qualifications that you can gain in order to both improve your financial knowledge and ability, along with your skill-set. Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) accredited courses are a great way to do this, and they can be studied as an addition to your main financial qualification. You can enrol in a CISI credited course that is delivered as an e-learning program, which can be done in your own time alongside working as a financial professional to improve your knowledge and skills as you go along. Check out for a wide range of CISI accredited courses to choose from, ranging from investment operations to chartered wealth management and compliance officer certificates. As you complete these qualifications, you will not only update your financial knowledge but have the opportunity to improve all of the valuable skills listed above.

Being good with maths isn’t enough when it comes to success in the financial industry. To be the best at your job, you’ll also need these important skills!