Long Read  

How advisers can boost their resilience in the wake of uncertainty

How advisers can boost their resilience in the wake of uncertainty
More than 40 per cent of advisers said they felt more stressed at work as a result of the current state of the economy and the recent "mini" Budget. (FT Montage/Getty Images/Reuters)

As those great philosophers Led Zeppelin told us, "upon us all, a little rain must fall", but for many it feels as though we are all being drenched in a deluge.

Surveys have shown us that clients value the sense of understanding of their financial position and the confidence that their advisers bring. These emotional responses help advisers to keep their clients invested in troubling times when the natural response maybe to run, to cash it all in, to make it stop and to make the disturbing headlines irrelevant.

Advisers know the value they bring through the behavioural coaching that they deliver, to hold their clients’ hands and to give them the resilience not to make poor decisions that their future selves will come to regret.

Article continues after advert

Those advisers who kept their clients invested through the 2008 crash preserved the wealth and financial prospects of those individuals and their families. It may have been just one empathetic conversation that stated you knew how they were feeling, but that the pain would end, which had the greatest impact.

Financial woes ranging further 

So here we are again, but maybe with a difference. 

A recent survey has shown that a large proportion of people are acutely worried about their finances again but, unlike 2008, the spectrum of concerned clients may be far wider, ranging from young first-time buyers trying to secure a mortgage to elder clients that have seen the value of their ‘cautiously invested’ retirement provisions fall.

We recently conducted research that measured more than 700 advisers on five personality traits: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness to experience and emotional stability.

The results showed that successful advisers positively correlated with higher levels of emotional stability and openness. These embrace the capacity for resilience and ability to embrace change.

This makes sense when you think about it as our clients look to us for guidance and stability when times are tough. However, clearly the magnitude of the financial problems facing the UK are testing advisers’ own emotional resilience to its limits.

According to an Aegon survey, more than 40 per cent of advisers have said they have felt more stressed at work as a result of the current state of the economy and the recent "mini" Budget. One of the reasons for this may well be that a wider range of clients have been negatively impacted.

The dream of that house move, a child’s education or vision of a comfortable retirement are all under threat. That is a wide demographic with diverse financial objectives that are all impacted and that makes for challenging and emotionally driven conversations.

Help yourself first

It is crucial that any adviser who did find recent weeks particularly stressful or overwhelming does not shy away from addressing their own wellbeing, so they can ensure they remain resilient and ultimately provide value to their clients.