Continuing Education’s Role in the Marketplace

Government and industry compliance and regulatory requirements heavily impact the financial securities industry. Along with these enforced protocols, firms are expected to conduct business using good ethical and sales practice standards.

In the securities marketplace, because securities regulations are consistently in flux, continuing education (CE) plays a vital role in ensuring financial advisors (FAs) are up to date and compliant. As a firm, you will want to make sure your employees are consistently meeting industry standards.

Training on changing regulations

Financial advisors need to stay on top of their game by attending training, taking courses and passing exams to keep up with changes. This CE helps financial advisors stay informed on everything they need to know to provide a top-of-the-line client experience. This industry is built around continuing education, with various opportunities and checkpoints to verify FAs’ knowledge:

  • FINRA rules require advisors to demonstrate proficiency to satisfy CE requirements.
  • Registered professionals must complete a computer-based training session within 120 days of their second anniversary.
  • Advisors must also register for computer-based CE training every three years after their second anniversary.

Securities Training Corporation (STC) satisfies FINRA’s requirement of the Firm Element. You will have access to robust reporting tools to inform you of how your employees are meeting requirements. You have 24/7 access, and the platform is designed to allow you to seamlessly track your employees’ CE status.

Updates on sales practices

Aside from government or industry requirements, continuing education is beneficial in helping advisors learn new sales practices. Since they evolve over time, CE can offer keen insight into acceptable methods and newer approaches. Financial advisors who make a commitment to stay informed on the latest trends in sales practices and on the latest products become empowered to use this knowledge as they work with their clients.

Ultimately, FAs who upgrade their skillsets benefit themselves, their firms and their customers. STC offers a vast catalog of more than 70 courses for FAs to choose from, giving them the opportunity to specialize in areas they have a higher interest in and become better advisors.

Reduction of regulatory advisor errors

Financial advisors have a fiduciary duty to act in their clients’ best interests. Aside from industry penalties, professionals want to avoid mistakes at all costs to ensure their clients aren’t dissatisfied. When mistakes are made, this undermines a financial advisor’s reputation, along with tarnishing their firm’s brand. Fortunately, CE mitigates the risks of such mistakes:

  • Advisors who consistently meet minimal CE requirements or beyond provide themselves with the tools they need to perform with a level of excellence.
  • The more in-depth understanding advisors have about industry regulations, the less of a chance there is of costly errors.
  • As a firm, you can better avoid lawsuits from angry clients who lost money

Client appreciation of knowledgeable advisors

One of the advantages of becoming a financial advisor is the financial rewards, along with the satisfaction of helping clients meet their financial goals. Professionals who are up to date with the latest trends and practices are better equipped to help their clients enjoy lucrative results.

Considering the job market for personal financial advisors is expected to see a 7% growth through 2028 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial advisors who want to remain competitive will want to proactively demonstrate to their clients they can effectively help them grow their wealth. The last thing any advisor wants is for their clients to be dissatisfied and turn to another firm.

Sharper financial advisors

Aside from ensuring advisors are able to keep their licenses active, any steps that FAs take to stay informed ultimately help to keep them sharp. In an industry that is heavily regulated, the information gleaned from continuing education is invaluable. You should encourage your employees to regularly pursue CE to:

  • Help them gain additional professional certifications.
  • Ensure they grasp new regulatory requirements.
  • Offer them the opportunity to get hands-on training in innovative sales techniques.
  • Enable them to become more inspired about their careers.

While CE isn’t always the most convenient or desirable activity for financial advisors due to its time commitment, it’s definitely worth the trade for the above benefits.

For the last 49 years, STC has developed an innovative approach to empower professionals to stay on top of their game. Our courses help advisors know all the ins and outs of a rapidly changing industry, along with the key strategies they can use to build better relationships with clients and create a pipeline of sales opportunities.

To learn more about Security Training Corporation’s innovative CE options, contact us today.

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