7 non-financial skills needed in the financial industry

Did you know that having first-class mathematical skills and financial knowledge is just the tip of the iceberg of being a great financial professional?

Mitch Pisik has held a number of senior management positions, including the CEO of Breckwell Products, and has more than 20 years of experience in business development, operations, and finance. He suggested that “the accounting/financial aspect of work is the floor-not the ceiling. ”

In other words, if you cannot perform the other basic functions of your job, you will not succeed. To persevere and succeed in the financial sector, you need to perfect these basic non-financial skills.

Key points

  • The financial industry may seem highly quantitative, focusing on mathematical equations, financial models, and dollar amounts.
  • Nonetheless, other so-called “soft skills” are necessary to succeed in the financial sector.
  • These include communication and relationship skills, as well as sales ability and proficiency in working in today’s high-tech environment.

7 non-financial skills needed for finance

1. Communication skills

Financial professionals can’t just be good at handling numbers-they must be able to communicate their knowledge through strong speaking, writing, and presentation skills.

Beverly D. Flaxington, author of 7 Steps for effective business construction of financial consultants, Said that when you give a presentation to a board of directors, investors, or potential clients, you need to know how to convey complex information in a way that people can understand.

2. Interpersonal relationship management skills

As a successful financial professional, the interpersonal skills you need to have include understanding different personality types, listening, asking the right questions, resolving conflicts, educating others, and consulting clients. Judith Cane, a financial planner in Ontario, said that the success of the financial industry is “15% technical knowledge and 85% psychological knowledge. People come to me because they have money problems. They spend too much money, they don’t Save everything, or they save everything.” Therefore, customers usually need an impartial consultant who can understand their needs and help them make financial decisions.

Managing interpersonal relationships is an important life skill, whether you are dealing with subordinates, colleagues, bosses, or people outside the company. When people trust you, like you, and feel that you respect them, they will want to help you succeed, whether it’s by praising you, promoting you, or signing up to become your customer.

3. Marketing and sales skills

According to Robert L. Riedl, director of wealth management at Endowment Wealth Management in Appleton, Wisconsin, financial professionals need to be able to market their expertise and knowledge to potential customers in their niche markets. For this, you must fully understand your personal strengths and the company’s professional strengths.

He further suggested that when you sell yourself to customers, you should not only convey how much you know, but also how much you care about, because “the most precious asset of customers and what they care most about every day is not their wealth, but their family. . .”

Customers want to know that you can help them manage their funds to best meet their family’s long-term needs.

4. Project management ability

Any task that takes more than a few minutes is essentially a project-you need to effectively manage the project to be profitable. You need to schedule your time effectively, manage your budget, meet deadlines, and get what you need from others in a timely manner to successfully complete your project.

During and after any project, staying organized and paying attention to details is also key.

Corporate finance professional Miles Wolf said: “For any analysis project, people usually have questions about inputs and assumptions. If backup information is not provided in time, even if it is 100% accurate, people will question the accuracy of the final result. . Output.”

He said that organizing electronic files and hard copies for quick access to information is crucial. A few months after your initial analysis, the CFO may ask you a question, he needs information about a conference call within 30 minutes. “Especially in the financial world, sloppy can’t be tolerated,” he said.

5. Ability to solve problems

You will encounter problems in any job and it is essential to be able to solve them instead of crashing under pressure.

In order to succeed, it is also helpful to exceed one’s personal responsibility. Pisik suggests that by helping your colleagues solve their problems, rather than simply reporting the problem to your superiors, you will be seen as a team player.

“People will be attracted to you, and your career will flourish,” he said.

6. Technical proficiency

No matter where you work, you need to be proficient in computer hardware and software, and be able to quickly master new work-related programs. The more shortcuts, keys, programs and functions you know about in Excel, the better your financial performance. You should also be familiar with marketing and communication software tools.

7. Tenacity and Ethics

Competitive personality, enthusiasm for work, and endurance to work long hours and exceed your expectations and the work done by your colleagues and competitors are the keys to success in the financial sector. At the same time, you must not be too competitive to make the wrong choice, otherwise your career and reputation will be affected.

CAE Kevin R. Keller, CEO of the Certified Financial Planner Standards Committee, stated that compliance with a set of ethical standards, such as those required by the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP), is critical to rebuilding trust that has been destroyed by finances . scandal.

Certified Financial Planner Standards Committee Standards of professional conduct CFP is required to provide professional services of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence-it is best for those engaged in financial work to abide by these principles.


Looking ahead to what your boss or client will need you to do in the near or far future will help you reach the top. It is not enough to solve daily challenges at work; you must be able to think long-term. Consider the following:

  • What skills can you develop and what achievements can you achieve to get you promoted in your current company, enter the door of another company, or get you re-employed when you are fired or fired?
  • How to predict what they need you to do tomorrow, next week or next month, and deal with it in advance, to make your boss’s life easier?
  • How do you build a relationship with your customers by paying close attention to their situation? For example, if you notice that the person who came to you to help manage the estate is pregnant and realize that they may need help saving and investing for your child’s college education, renewing their will and possibly establishing a trust can help you create a relationship with that client. Long-term business relationship.

Wisdom and interpretation

Los Angeles writing consultant Elizabeth B. Danziger, founder of Worktalk Communications Consulting and “Entry Point! “The author of the book said: “The clients of financial services professionals are looking for more than knowledge and numbers: they are looking for wisdom and interpretation.”

Bottom line

By combining your ability to analyze numbers with skills such as communication, project management, and relationship development, you will become a leader and make yourself a leader in your field.


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