Practice Management

5 Powerful Traits Shared by Super Financial Advisors

If you want to be an advisor with loyal clients and an endless stream of referrals, you have to stand out. So, what makes a good financial advisor reach “super advisor” territory? Here are five traits that can help separate you from the rest.
Louis Retief
10 min to read
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With over 218,000 financial advisors in the U.S. alone, you might be wondering how you can differentiate yourself. The pandemic has led to fierce competition, with many taking their businesses online. As a result, not only do you have to compete with local advisors but professionals nationwide who offer virtual services.

If you want to be an advisor with loyal clients and an endless stream of referrals, you have to stand out. So, what makes a good financial advisor reach “super advisor” territory? Here are five traits that can help separate you from the rest.

Trait 1: Super advisors build trust with their clients 

A super advisor understands that financial advice is much more than stocks and bonds — it’s the trust you build with a client over time that will make or break your success. If a client trusts that you have their best interest at heart, they are more likely to stick with you for the long run. 

It’s not always a big fall-out or revelation that causes trust to be lost. Conversely, it’s often the small things that erode trust over time, such as forgetting to complete client tasks or send follow-ups. 

It’s also the small, personal touches that go a long way in building and maintaining client trust, such as asking about their children during meetings (just don’t forget the names!) and sending birthday cards. These gestures may seem small but it's the little things that make a big difference in building trust with clients. When you remember their dogs name and their birthday, it shows that you see them as a human being and allows them to trust you to help them make progress towards their personal financial goals.

Two women in an office looking at a computer together
Empowered employees feel more confident at work and are more likely to add value to a financial advisory firm and stay around long-term

Trait 2: Super advisors empower their employees

Super advisors know they are more powerful with a strong team behind them. They think of their employees as their biggest assets and are proactive about keeping their people happy. Employee retention is a big problem in the industry — especially with the younger generations.

PwC surveyed millennials working in the financial services industry and found that only 10% plan to stay in their current role long term. This is a problem because having a revolving door of employees may erode trust and damage your credibility with clients.

Give your employees the best chance at success by doing the following:

  • Clarify roles and responsibilities
  • Avoid micromanaging (it’s generally counterproductive)
  • Be open to feedback from your team 
  • Promote open communication and transparency
  • Build proper processes and frameworks for training and delegating work
  • Build proper processes and frameworks for training and delegating work

Trait 3: Super advisors are entrepreneurial

Another shared trait of super advisors is their entrepreneurial mindset in tackling business challenges and problems. As a financial advisor you are your business, and with a business comes lots of additional responsibilities beyond giving good financial advice. Super advisors understand the steps that need to be taken to grow a business such as; hiring and retaining the right people, ensuring proper processes are documented and repeatable, effectively retaining new clients, and adopting new technology to improve productivity (to name a few).

Super advisors understand that building a next generation advisory firm involves a number of critical factors including managing a team effectively, ensuring back office work doesn't fall through the cracks, and ensuring a consistent client experience across the firm to uphold the brand image. Super advisors are visionaries, strategic thinkers, and lifelong learners. 

Woman at a desk on the phone looking at Hubly workflow management software on her computer
Hubly is purpose built for financial advisory firms to prevent clients from falling through the cracks and makes it easy to deliver a proactive client experience.

Trait 4: Super advisors utilize technology effectively

As the world has moved online in droves due to the pandemic, client expectations have changed. Clients want their financial advice like they get everything else — on demand. They want digital tools to access their financial plans anytime and immediate responses. Though these shifts have been emerging for years, the pandemic has accelerated the changes.

According to a study from Broadridge, 77% of financial advisors say they have lost business as a result of not having the appropriate digital tools to interact with clients.” Financial advisors must adapt to a changing technology landscape or risk falling behind. 

With many digital tools for financial advisors on the market, it can be challenging to choose the right technology for your firm. Start by thinking about the purpose and ROI of the new technology and how it will tie into your business and enhance your client experience. 

Trait 5: Super advisors choose a niche

Super advisors understand that trying to be everything to everyone is a recipe for mediocrity. They know they can provide a better service if they choose a niche and focus on becoming the best at serving their target customer. Niching down also helps streamline your processes and turns your business into a well-oiled machine.

A niche allows you to specialize in solving challenges for a specific set of people and, as a result, you will become an expert in that area in no time. It's better to be a super advisor in one area than a decent financial advisor across all areas. Some examples of really unique client niches that some of Hubly's users have are; widows, online gamers, and airline professionals. Niching down is also a good marketing strategy because you can focus on attracting your target clients instead of appealing to everyone. 

Final thoughts

Financial Advisors are not all the same, but they do share several common traits. What really separates super advisors from good advisors is how they value trust and relationship-building, focus on becoming an expert at providing specialized financial advice within a niche, and use technology that enhances their client and team’s experience. 



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