As investors realise the importance of portfolio diversification and asset management, there is an increasing demand of financial planning service. For people who are determined to become a successful financial planner, they need to keep a keen eye on the ever-changing market, and continuously strengthen their ability to forge customer relationships through interaction and mutual trust.
Vanessa Ho, a personal financial services manager at Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited and a finalist at this year's Outstanding Financial Management Planner Awards organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers, goes over the path and beliefs that have helped her succeed.
Ms Ho considers the competition a good opportunity to learn and to meet with her professional counterparts, and receive valuable feedback from renowned bankers and experts in the field. "I believe this rewarding experience will enrich my skills and knowledge in financial planning, benefiting myself and my customers in the time ahead."
A successful client relationship is built upon trust. "Trust is the key to financial planning," Ms Ho affirms. Once a strong relationship is established, client education and professional integrity form the backbone of financial planning. "I share investment concepts and insights with my clients; particularly the risks and returns associated with their portfolios," she explains.
By understanding the risk tolerance and investment goals of the clients, a financial planner can better meet their financial needs, according to Ms Ho. "I always conduct a meticulous review before formulating investment strategies for my clients," she adds. "Rather than product selling, I aim at helping clients achieve their goals. Every client is unique, with different approaches and attitudes towards investment. Learning about the client helps me to offer personalised solutions that will in turn help them to grow their wealth"
Ms Ho also emphasises the importance of bonding with clients. "I treat them as family members, always prioritising their needs. It's not only about financial knowledge, but also the interpersonal skills required to create an amicable relationship."
On-the-job training plays an important role in Ms Ho's career. "Being a financial planner, it's essential for me to continuously update my knowledge and financial planning skills so as to stay ahead in this dynamic market."
"Our parent company, Bank of China Limited, is one of the four state-owned commercial banks in mainland China. Therefore, many mainland customers are keen to bank with us. Last year, I had the chance to join one of our bank's overseas exchange schemes. I was grateful for the mainland exposure and experience from which I have learnt a great deal about people and business."
Modern technology is conducive to financial planning. "Via our Wealth Maxi Wiser, an advanced financial planning tool, I can analyse client's financial needs and risk appetite before formulating asset allocation strategies for clients," she explains.
Ms Ho emphasises that her aspirations for financial planning developed when she was still a university student. "My outgoing personality, optimistic character and passion for knowledge are some of my edges," she says.
As the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers Outstanding Financial Management Planner Awards draws to an end, Ms Ho finds the experience a useful learning process and takes pride in her accomplishment so far. "I am very excited to be one of the finalists in such a well-organised and renowned competition. I would like to thank all of my colleagues for their support and encouragement," she concludes.