If You Have These Traits, You Could Be A Successful Financial Advisor

byJoanne Poh
  • Aug 19, 2019
  • 4 mins

Image: iStock

When considering their career options, many young people look at successful financial advisors and immediately assume it would be too difficult to ever get to that level.

Working as a financial advisor is quite different from working in most regular jobs. Making it as a financial advisor isn’t about getting perfect grades at school or climbing the corporate ladder. On the flip side, character and attitude can get you a long way.

If you have the following character traits, you just might have what it takes to become a successful financial advisor.

Desire to help others

Image: iStock

Being a financial advisor is about helping clients find the right products that can protect them in the event of catastrophe and help them reach their financial goals. You’ll not only get to meet clients to talk about their needs, but also help them make claims when they face a crisis.

Liu Hanse, Principal Client Advisor at Income, recalls an incident where she helped a client make an insurance claim after a diagnosis of stage four cancer. His wife and child obtained much-needed financial support from the insurance payout.

“They often thanked me for all I had done which allowed him to leave in peace,” she says. “Such incidents make me feel like the amount of effort I put in for every customer is worthwhile as my little actions are able to have such a huge impact on their lives.”


There is no doubt that the job can be frustrating, especially at the start when you are looking for your first clients. Many rookie financial advisors promptly drop out after facing their first roadblocks on the job.

On the other side of the coin, those who have the strength to persevere can find great success.

Just ask Tan Wan Ling, one of the highest performing young Financial Consultants at Income, who credits her success to her mindset, which “is strong enough to pick me up when I meet obstacles or when I’m down at any point in my career.” She says, “To me, rejections open other doors of opportunity to allow me to connect with my clients in many other ways.

Enjoy being around people

Image: iStock

Interacting with people is a big part of the job, so being a people person helps. You’ll have to constantly talk to new potential clients, while maintaining your relationship with established ones.

“A personal trait that has definitely helped me is my fondness of building bonds and friendships with clients,” says Hanse, who says that she treats every client like a friend.

Receptive to training

While the barriers to entry are not necessarily as high as in some other jobs, you will need to seize training opportunities in order to do well.

For instance, at Income, product training sessions are conducted to help new financial advisors learn the ropes. In order to succeed, you will need to take charge of your own learning and make the most out of these training sessions.

Image: iStock

Willing to learn

While you don’t need to have gotten straight As at school in order to become a good financial advisor, you do need to be a keen learner.

For starters, you will need to pass examinations administered by the Singapore College of Insurance in order to become a full-fledged financial advisor. But just because you have passed the exams doesn’t mean the learning stops.

From learning new ways to approach potential clients to maintaining relationships with existing ones, you will be constantly stepping out of your comfort zone and learning to thrive in unfamiliar situations.

Wan Ling advises, “You define your own learning curve. The hungrier you are to learn, the faster you can grow in this career.”

Self-motivated and driven

As a financial advisor, you will not have a traditional boss bugging you to finish your tasks, nor will you have a desk-bound daily routine. It is up to you how you wish to plan your day and where you wish to go to meet clients.

Some people thrive when they have the freedom to structure their own activities, and are able to motivate themselves without the constant supervision of a superior. If that sounds like you, you might do well as a financial advisor. On the other hand, if you are unable to find self-motivation without direction from higher-ups, you might struggle.

Image: iStock

Innovative and creative

Insurance and financial planning advice are not easy to offer, as many people do not find it a pleasant topic to talk about. While there are a savvy few who realise how important insurance and financial planning are, you will need to find fresh ways to get the average person interested.

This is one job where you will have free reign to be as innovative and creative as you like, and reap the rewards. Unlike many traditional jobs where employees often get promoted just for looking busy and avoid taking risks, as a financial advisor you will be rewarded for innovation that leads to better performance.

Find out more about how to become a financial advisor with Income, one of Singapore’s leading insurers.

Tags: Careers
With over a decade of experience writing, Joanne Poh specialises in insurance, finance, real estate, fintech, and travel. Her work has been featured on Yahoo!, MSN, AsiaOne, and herworldPLUS.

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