Emma Ann Hughes 

How to look good as a financial adviser

Emma Ann Hughes

Emma Ann Hughes

While we have published countless news stories over the years on what the nation expects to pay for financial advice, I think this week marked a first for FTAdviser.

Our colleagues at the Financial Times surveyed more than 400 of their readers on what they want from a financial adviser to produce a feature to coincide with the publication of our Top 100 Financial Advisers list.

The full results of the FT's survey will appear, alongside FTAdviser's Top 100 Financial Advisers list, in the newspaper tomorrow (December 1) but yesterday (November 29) FT Money editor Claer Barrett shared a few of the highlights with us.

FT Money's survey unsurprisingly revealed readers of our parent title, the world’s most famous pink newspaper, wanted you to be clear about charges, to be trustworthy and to deliver tailored advice.

However, what FT Money's survey also revealed – and what many of you may not really have thought about much before – is they are also making judgements about what you choose to wear.

One FT reader specifically stated advice professionals should avoid a Hermès tie.

Many others remarked that those with "flashy offices", chunky designer watches or expensive sports cars parked outside were communicating the wrong values – and almost certainly charging them too much.

Yes, while you were asking questions to pull together a suitability report your clients were checking out your sartorial choices to see if it qualifies you to advise them.

It is a reminder that we live in an age where front pages can be dedicated to the UK prime minister’s choice of footwear and US presidents are picked on how good they appear on television.

Indeed, I have several friends who work in fashion and am aware another factor that has transformed our high streets is the fact people don’t want to be seen in the same outfit twice on social media.

So, what should a financial adviser wear in 2018?

Well, with less than a month to go until Christmas Day, make sure if you need a new, good quality suit then that is on your wish list to Santa Claus and never forget – bling shouldn’t be your thing.

Leave the dollar sign rings and massive diamond rings to reality stars like Kim Kardashian and rappers like Kanye West to flash around on Instagram.

Your clients want to see your head isn't turned by a designer name but that you are able to wisely invest in a good quality of cloth that will see you through Christmas, Brexit and beyond.

To read the full list of our Top 100 Financial Advisers for 2018 click here.

emma.hughes@ft.com

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