What was your role in the military?
I was a commissioned officer in the Warfare Branch of the Royal Navy from 2000-2006, holding the rank of Lieutenant. Warfare Officers navigate and ‘fight’ ships and submarines at sea.
Why did becoming a financial adviser appeal to you?
When I left the navy I wanted higher earnings potential and a more mentally stimulating career. I’ve always had a wide range of interests and I like how finance covers a range of subjects: economics, politics, maths, psychology… almost anything you can think of relates in some way to markets and to the process of investing in them.
How did you become a qualified financial adviser?
I studied for the old Certificate in Financial Planning in my spare time during my notice period from the navy. I passed all five modules of the qualification in two days. On the strength of that I was offered a position with a financial advice firm in North Wales which had a track record of recruiting and developing new financial advisers.
What transferable skills were you able to take from the military into being an adviser?
The navy developed my organisation, persistence, planning, communication, and resilience in ways that benefitted me in finance.
Which skills did you need to develop when you became an adviser?
I had a lot of work to do on my ‘soft skills’ when I left the navy. Having spent my final 18 months serving in military operations rooms in the Falkland Islands and the UK, my telephone manner was blunt, to put it mildly! The Financial Adviser School’s skills development modules would have helped me with that earlier.
What is the most enjoyable part of your role?
I’m not a financial adviser anymore but it gave me the foundation for a career in financial services. My role now involves designing propositions for a financial advice firm, working closely with advisers to develop a robust investment offering. I enjoy helping to build the business, and I especially enjoy seeing graduate financial advisers develop into solid professionals.
What’s the best advice you personally have ever been given?
My old Managing Director always said “Ask the client a question and then SHUT UP and let them fill the silence.” It’s true, and it works. A good financial adviser should always listen to their clients.