Clockwise from top left Angela Martyn, Matt Hale, Nicola Beswick, Sarah Abood, Deborah Kent and Anne Graham

The industry has faced no shortage of challenges over the last few years, yet you would quickly forget that adversity when talking to some of Australia’s leading financial advisers about the state of the profession.

Financial planning week commenced on 3 October and World Financial Planning Day will be celebrated on 5 October, giving the industry a much-needed chance to reflect on the value it adds to the everyday life of Australians.

Personal Financial Services director Angela Martyn says being a financial adviser is an honour and working with clients through the advice process is rewarding.

“Seeing those same clients over the years as they refine their plan and make use of legislative changes and market opportunities builds a close and enjoyable working relationship,” Martyn says.

Story Wealth chief executive Anne Graham says it’s been easy to lose sight of the positive difference advisers make, especially over the last few years.

“Having said that, two things that motivate me are the impact we have on our clients’ lives and the teams that make it all happen,” she says.

Graham says the profession is more than numbers and compliance, it’s about guiding people through the big and small transitions in life.

“It can be something said in passing to a client that shows them you’re on their side, or a grand retirement plan which has come to life – either way, we make a positive impact,” Graham says.

Having started in the industry 35 years ago, Integra Financial Services co-founder Deborah Kent says she saw it as a career she could enjoy because she loved dealing with people.

“People come to me with their problems and I love solving them and I totally enjoy seeing them achieve what they want in their life, especially financially so they can retire and enjoy their life,” Kent says.

“I love doing the job. It’s not a job to me; it’s something I really enjoy and love the interaction with clients. They become an extended family.”

Life-changing experiences

Financial Planning Association CEO Sarah Abood was never an adviser herself but was the CEO for Profile Financial Services for almost a decade and now leads the largest adviser association.

She says having a financial adviser since she was 18 years old shaped her perception of the industry early in her adult life.