An understanding of relationships and human emotional drivers is more critical to being a successful and professional financial planner than knowledge of money, advisers heard at the final keynote of the 2017 FPA Professionals Congress.

At a panel session that featured three high-profile couples – Waleed Aly and Susan Carland, Paul and Tami Roos, and Paul and Alicia West – advisers were reminded THAT emotional resilience underpins financial success.

“You give advice that may change the course of their life. You may change the course of their relationship,” Aly said. “It’s pretty heavy stuff.”

Paul Roos, who coached the Sydney Swans to the club’s first AFL Grand Final win in 72 years, reflected on the importance of nourishing his relationships with players and his personal relationships when he was a coach, something he said can easily be overlooked in the pursuit of winning.

He encouraged planners to look at the relationship rather than the strategy or end result, whether it’s with their clients or in their own firm.

“Often I think everyone gets caught up in the outcome…If you drag it back to people, is your bottom line going to be better? Absolutely. But people do forget that,” he said.

Paul West, host of the recently cancelled SBS show River Cottage Australia, said his family’s nomadic lifestyle – they have lived in the city, Hobart and the NSW South Coast in the last few years – has driven home how interwoven emotional and financial stability are. The Wests said that although moving has been challenging, having a strong network and strong relationships has softened the process.

Carland said outsourcing was “crucial” to reducing stress in her familial unit.

“We all have the potential to be anything we want, but no one can do everything,” she said. “We all need that external scaffolding. It’s such a relief.

“Financial planners are like marriage counselors…They’re often engaging with couples at moments of crisis. You need to know that relationship fairly intimately.”

Aly added: “But also what it’s trying to achieve.”

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