Ben Travers: Why proactive financial advisers today are the industry leaders of tomorrow

Ben Travers: Why proactive financial advisers today are the industry leaders of tomorrow

“It was a natural progression for me to gain a higher qualification with Kaplan Professional. I currently recommend Kaplan Professional to my colleagues, not just to meet the 2024 requirements, but for personal growth.

Ben Travers

Courses: Self Managed Superannuation Funds,
Accredited Listed Product Adviser (ASX ALPA) Program,
Master of Financial Planning (Distinction)

It’s no secret FASEA’s extensive professional standards will have an immense impact on the industry. Financial advisers already balance many professional and personal commitments. However, those being proactive now will be rewarded in the years to come. One of those financial advisers keeping ahead of the curve is Brisbane’s Ben Travers.

Ben’s an Associate Partner of Business Services for Perpetual Private. He’s also a Certified Financial Planner®, one of Financial Standard’s Power50 Most Influential Advisers, a member of the FPA Brisbane Chapter Committee, and Money Management’s Financial Planner of The Year (2018). He also sits on the Kaplan Professional’s Adviser of the Future Editorial Committee and has completed his Master of Financial Planning with a distinction average. He believes it’s crucial to have a zealous perspective when it comes to further education. “We’re entering a time that’ll be remembered forever. Advisers proactive in their approach now will be well ahead of the others in years to come,” Travers said.

While changes to professional standards mean that all advisers will be required to undertake further formal education, Ben is one of many established advisers successfully balancing work and study. Between spending time with family, working full-time and mentoring future advisers – juggling a busy lifestyle has become second nature.

Mondays are focused on planning for the week ahead, Tuesdays to Thursdays are taken up by client consultations and research, and Fridays are dedicated to keeping on top administration work and tying up any loose ends. Within the week, Ben works across all areas of advising – including financial planning strategies, pre and post-retirement planning, portfolio construction, investment structuring, and tactical asset allocation. Despite his heavy workload, Travers says the flexibility to study online with Kaplan Professional has allowed him to work around these commitments. In addition, Ben says although he’s achieved a lot professionally, studying his Master of Financial Planning has allowed him to “develop as a person and enhance my skill set”.

“Education is currently the biggest topic in financial planning, so it’s worth the effort,” he said. We’re now accountable for our own learnings … it’s critical to your future in the industry. When you look back in a few years’ time, you’ll realise the hard work and effort will pay dividends.”

It’s not just advisers finding value in industry-recognised qualifications. Further education has become a foundation of confidence for clients seeking advice from trusted advisers. Many advisers work with a client base of professionals that have spent years trying to gain a qualification in their chosen field and hold education very closely. “When I talk to new advisers about the masters degree, people are encouraged to upskill,” Ben said. “People want to see commitment to education from their adviser. Similarly, clients clients are becoming more savvy. They’re aware of the industry changes from the Royal Commission. They perform their own research on you before a meeting. When they discover they’re talking to someone who’s incredibly passionate about what they do, and willing to stay in the industry for the long run, they feel comfortable.”

As for the future of financial advice, Ben believes financial advisers today play a role in elevating the fledgling profession moving forward. Nurturing the future generation of advisers through mentorship and leadership has been his way of “giving back to the community”.

“My view is there may be some short-term upheaval,” Travers said. “Yet, the demand for quality financial advice isn’t going anywhere … advisers committed to the future will be at the forefront of that demand. I think education is always changing; it’s just a natural part of learning,” he said.

As an aging population and a plethora of savvy younger Australians look to seek financial advice in the future, Travers has a tip for his fellow advisers. “Stay in the industry, demand is going through the roof and I don’t think people really appreciate that if you stay on the frontline, you’re going to be rewarded,” he said.

Ben is one of many advisers choosing to believe that embracing change now will pay dividends in the years to come. “Blockbuster received an offer from Netflix, which they didn’t accept,” he said. “Blockbuster refused to adapt to critical changes in the industry at the time; now look at what’s happened. It’s the same theory, if you don’t adapt to change, you get left behind.”

Having previously studied with Kaplan Professional throughout his career, Ben remains adamant the online flexibility and student support available is ideal for the busy adviser. “It was a natural progression for me to gain a higher qualification with Kaplan Professional,” he said. “I currently recommend Kaplan Professional to my colleagues, not just to meet the 2024 requirements, but for personal growth.”

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