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The importance of lifelong learning for financial advisors

Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen a lot of LinkedIn posts about mentors who have passed their CFP exams. Congratulations to all of you! Celebrate your achievement, and then plan your next educational opportunity. wait what? So early? Can’t I take a few months off to rest?

no you should not. for some reasons:

  1. You’re in the habit of spending time increasing your knowledge, so don’t stop now or it will be hard to add back to your schedule
  2. It’s convention season – one of the best ways to gain knowledge! And see people, two years of virtual events followed by as many in-person conferences.

The discipline of financial planning is constantly evolving with new tax laws, regulations, investments (crypto anyone?) and a fluid economic environment. Not to mention the personality of its growing customer base and the needs and beliefs of those customers.

You must have heard the term lifelong learning. I keep getting marketing messages about classes from my alma mater. It’s better than requests for donations, but what exactly does lifelong learning mean, and why should you embrace it?

There are several definitions; My favorite is from Wikipedia:

lifelong learning is “ongoing, voluntary and” self driven The pursuit of knowledge for personal or professional reasons. It is important for an individual’s competitiveness and employability, but also enhances social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development. ,

Lifelong learning means that you are waiting for opportunities to increase your potential, to change your beliefs or thought processes. This can happen by learning new concepts, rethinking old ones, and meeting and listening to new people. This applies to both your personal and professional development. Gaining skills that make you more confident leads to greater happiness and greater self-awareness, which helps you with clients. Continuous learning makes your skill set more marketable, but more importantly, it also makes you smarter for your customers as well as yourself.

Becoming a lifelong learner can help you gain skills and knowledge on your way to becoming your best self. for now. until you are well again.

How can you become a lifelong learner?

You spent time in school, you know the drill. You already have it, you just need to be deliberate and harness your curiosity about improvement.

  • Develop a growth mindset.

    • Try new things regularly. A vacation to a new country is a great excuse to learn a new language. Accept life’s changes and challenges and be open to feedback as you learn new skills. Develop a list of new things to learn instead of a list of shows you want to binge. Imagine how you would feel when you learned a new skill.

  • own it.

    • You are responsible for your development and future. This means that you need to make a commitment to continuous learning. Focus on what works best for your learning style and create the right environment. Do you prefer listening to podcasts or taking online classes? Maybe book learning and note-taking work for you. Or are there in-person classes or conference sessions where you can question your learning method? Find your style.

  • Practice.

    • There are many options to fit your schedule. Make sure you schedule learning the same way you do exercise and client relations. Consistency is important. Don’t forget to apply what you’re learning to make sure you’re using your new skills.

support lifelong learning in others

As a leader, you should encourage the discovery of more skills with your teams. As a consultant, you know that your client’s greatest asset is their own earning power.

Create an environment where your team feels supported in their learning agenda. Meet to find out the best personal development plan for each partner. It should be a self-directed plan that the collaborator is responsible for creating. You can support the plan by making sure you have the budget to invest in their learning, whether it is for classes, conferences, continuing education or additional degrees or designations. Introduce them to other leaders for mentorship or job shadowing opportunities. Encourage them to network outside their offices, in the community and in the profession.

You can do a similar exercise with your clients. Have they complete an assessment of their own career, and ask them questions to get them thinking about their future:

  • How will his industry look in 2 years? 5 years? 10 years?
  • Do they have the skills to compete? What is the need to add them?
  • How can they invest in their future education?
  • Is their current career fulfilling, or is they considering a change? What would it require? Education funding should not be just for children and grandchildren.

Be the advisor who shows your client that you understand their value.

Lifelong learning not only increases your value as an employee and mentor, but it also helps enrich your life. What is your lifelong learning plan?

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, cannot learn and cannot learn again.” -Alvin Toffler

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