Shannon Gardner: “I’m a passionate believer in the power of financial advice.”

Shannon Gardner: “I’m a passionate believer in the power of financial advice.”

Shannon Gardner

“Kaplan Professional was by far the best option for the lifestyle I had, mainly because I was able to study on my own terms.”

Shannon Gardner

Courses: Self Managed Superannuation FundsFNS50615 Diploma of Financial PlanningFNS60415 Advanced Diploma of Financial PlanningGraduate Diploma in Financial PlanningMaster of Financial Planning

The future of financial advice lies in the hands of a passionate and committed generation of advisers eager to elevate their profession. One of these individuals is Adelaide’s (via Sydney) Shannon Gardner, respected in Australia’s advice fraternity for his successful track record in meeting and exceeding his clients’ goals and expectations. Gardner is an Associated Financial Planner® who was recently elected to the South Australian Financial Planning Association of Australia’s Chapter Committee. He holds a Master of Financial Planning with Kaplan Professional and believes FASEA’s new professional standards will have a lasting impact on the profession for the better.

Shannon has a wealth of industry experience across institutions such as BT Financial Group, ANZ, AMP and ING. At present, he’s a Senior Financial Planner with Super SA at Industry Fund Services. Gardner relishes this leadership role and works with clients across Super SA’s 210,000 members. Due to the dynamic nature of his role, describing a typical week for Shannon can be difficult because no day is ever the same. “My colleagues and I would usually see at least 10 to 12 different people every week,” he said. “Between client consultations, I’d also generally undertake two to three adviser presentations all while undertaking ad-hoc tasks including follow up calls and enquiries because we offer ongoing advice.”

Despite the busy schedule that comes with such a vast client base, Gardner has come to learn nothing’s more rewarding than dealing with people from all walks of life and having a positive impact on their financial situation. “When you know you’ve changed someone’s life … you’ve helped them understand what they want and need, and how they can meet their goals and objectives … hopes and dreams. That’s the power of financial planning.”

 

Inspiring the next generation

Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, leadership, motivation and focus have been key to Shannon’s success. While there’s no doubt existing financial advisers are entering an adjustment period, he remains optimistic about the future of the sector. Reminding us that no matter what industry change is introduced, Australians will always want and need financial advice. “When I speak to clients, I’m forthright in asking for their opinions on what I do. Even the clients who’ve had bad experiences with financial advisers realise people will always require and request advice.”

 

He’s also adamant financial advisers of today should play an integral role in inspiring and mentoring younger advisers to protect and nurture their profession of tomorrow. Being a proactive role model and inspiration for future advisers has been a passion for Gardner. “I’m a senior adviser in my role, supporting our financial planning manager. My role is to be a leader within the team regarding how I conduct myself and see clients. It’s about creating a culture within the team,” he said. “All advisers who have been through the good times and the tough times owe it to the advisers coming through to offer our guidance and support to help them along the way.”

 

Learning for a better future

Shannon’s mantra on further education is career growth and success stems from continuous learning. Established financial advisers often oversee the benefits of undertaking further study due to hectic full-time workloads and busy lives at home. However, the online flexibility, structure and support offered by Kaplan Professional means busy advisers like Gardner can gain a postgraduate qualification while fulfilling their professional and personal responsibilities.

“Kaplan Professional was by far the best option for the lifestyle I had, mainly because I was able to study on my own terms. In terms of pace, they provide six study periods each year and I benefited from that. The way the material was structured and the level of depth … it made me feel that by the end of the course, I was a better adviser,” he said.

Having reached the pinnacle in his own journey, Shannon insists being proactive and taking the initiative to undertake further qualifications before he was forced to do so was crucial to his success. As for other advisers embarking on their postgraduate journey in the near future, he had one piece of tested advice. “Most advisers are good with their time management but the support is there if you need it. You can structure your study over periods and the benefit could simply be achieving something over time,” he said.

Gardner’s notion is current advisers are in a prime position to embrace and get ahead of the change the new professional standards will bring. “Advisers undertaking further education today are doing the right thing by our growing professional and the Australian public. The results of their success will prevail,” he said. “Outstanding technical knowledge is integral for my role and I believe my time with Kaplan Professional truly assisted with that,” he added. “You only know what you know and sometimes you don’t realise you’ve lapsed in some technical areas until you go back to the basics. Refreshing your knowledge can give you a huge advantage.”

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Kaplan Professional’s online postgraduate financial planning qualifications

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