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Planners warned over becoming "army of technical experts"

Planners warned over becoming "army of technical experts"

The advice profession has been warned it risks becoming an "army of technical experts" if more time is not dedicated to the human element of financial planning during the qualification process. 

Speaking at the financial planning conference hosted by the CISI yesterday (October 14) James Mousley and Sean Banks, hosts of the Adviser Gap Podcast, warned adviser and planner qualifications focused solely on the technical aspects whilst neglecting the practical application of the profession. 

Mr Mousley, who is also the director of financial planning at Mathews Comfort Financial Planning, said: "We are creating a gap within the financial planning world.

"Are we creating an army of technical experts - which is a great thing - but how do we apply this when we are face-to-face with clients.

"A financial planner is so much more than the technical knowledge they have."

Adviser academies have reported record intakes this year and summer spikes as the government moved to protect the jobs market from the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

But Mr Mousely warned thousands of hours were spent by professional bodies training advisers and planners to be "technical wizards", but no time at all on the "art" of financial planning. 

He added: "There are zero hours on the art of communication and zero hours on being human - it’s the listening, questioning, relationship building and body language. 

"But without fully understanding the wants and needs of a client, what use is all this technical knowledge?

"Thousands of hours spent on technical knowledge - imagine the profession we could be if we spent this time on practical application and not just the technical part of financial planning."  

FTAdviser recently reported advisers were struggling to fill more experienced job vacancies, but were being inundated with application for trainee roles as school leavers struggle to settle in a jobs market struggling against the tide of the pandemic.

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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