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Education is a “must have”!

By: admin|

A well-known quote mentions that to be successful you must learn at least one new thing a day to remain competitive. Ongoing education is vital to survive in this changing global environment and this is
evidenced by the current issues the world is facing.  Education in itself has not kept up with change as is evident from the current practices of many that have finished their schooling and even University degrees only to find
that today’s globalisation has raised far more issues than there are answers.

Governments globally continue to try to resolve their countries economic issues by implementing large spending projects to trade their countries out of recessions and at the same time they are also encouraging their people to spend money to support their ailing economies. Yet, neither the governments nor their countries’
citizens really have a solution to be able to increase their respective incomes to support the increased indebtedness. For this reason we are faced with high bankruptcies both at the country and individual level. Formal education in itself needs to also go through a major revolution in an effort to come to
grips with the entrepreneurial style of management that is needed today.  It is a fact that those who at least are
continuing to upgrade their skills through formal education and qualifications have  far better grasp and understanding on how to work with and adapt in this ever-changing environment.

 Another prime example is the retail industry, which in itself is at a delicate stage as many who enter this field do not possess the required skills and knowledge to comprehend that the current and past practices
over the many years will not enable them to survive. Formal education and qualifications would at least equip them to have a wider perspective on the issues facing them and perhaps even provide solutions to their problems.

 Finance/Mortgage Brokers are also going through a vital transitional stage where diversification is not just a word but a must and without formal education and qualifications in the respective areas of expansion the original dream will just turn to dust, as education for this dream is a must.

 Practical bottom line business benefits for brokers There has never been a greater opportunity for the Finance/Mortgage Broking industry to understand that the clients they deal with every day have
many needs. These people would just like the opportunity to be able to tell their one trusted advisor all their information and then that trusted adviser will resolve all their issues. The role of the trusted advisor cannot be
undertaken unless they have also done the hard yards and made a commitment to complete further ongoing formal education.

Today’s new regulations covering many professions have in fact now laid out a clear pathway for all to follow and its is now easier for a person to become the trusted advisor than in the past. Imagine not having
to worry when one area of your business income is down as you are offering other services that will more than supplement your income streams.

Many Australians in the past have operated their business models with the one product or service offering as they have struggled with the concept of offering clients more services to meet the client’s needs.
There is also a mindset that says “how can I do more than what I am doing, it’s just not possible as I am just so busy”. Working smarter by having the sales person sell and then having the back office process actually produces a greater return and also provides employment opportunities. Too many good sales people
get involved with the stuff and hence miss out on the many sales opportunities that confront them daily.

 One of the greatest learning experiences I have had is when I have been training qualified Financial Advisors in South Africa. They interview 5 to 6 clients a day and make a very good income. Compare this to the
average client interview numbers with planners in Australia; it is 1 to 2 clients per day. You may ask what is different. Professional South African sales people sell and they have support staff/contractors that do the paperwork. They have to undertake ongoing education and also resit exams every two years to test their skills and knowledge ensuring they are competent to continue to undertake their chosen roles.

 Higher educational level requirements in Finance/Mortgage Broking

In past years up until July 2010 the Certificate IV in Financial Services (F/MB) was a great starter course to get into Finance/Mortgage Broking where willing participants learnt the basics of the industry. It taught
of the products being sold along with the “how to” complete applications, selling and regulatory issues from what was a splintered national regulation before the introduction of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009. In fact, this course was really an entry-level to the industry but did not equip Brokers
for the new regulatory requirements. The forthcoming release of the new Financial Services 2010 training package will certainly allow new entrants into the industry to have far greater skills and knowledge to meet the new NCCP Act and business understanding requirements.

The Diploma of Financial Services Finance Mortgage Broking is clearly a step-up from the Cert IV qualifications as it actually addresses vital information and skills that a Finance Broker needs when acting as a trusted advisor. Customers have become smarter as more and more have undertaken formal and higher education themselves. Many of the Brokers’ referral partners are also required to hold a minimum Diploma level
qualification to meet their regulatory requirements. As can be imagined, they can actually look down at or have mistrust of others that have not also done the hard yards. As a result, they are less inclined to refer clients if they feel the referral partner does not have a reasonable level of experience and qualifications.

To summarise the Certificate IV gives the basics and the Diploma actually gives the required professional skills, whilst at the same time placing Brokers on the same level as their clients’ Accountant and other trusted advisors. 

Benefits of adding value.

 Undertaking any higher education will always add value and in particular the Diploma will offer some of, but not limited, to the following; 

  • Ability      to understand corporate and trust structures which is a vital requirement of lending
  • Understanding risk assessment processes from the borrowers’ and lenders’ point of view
  • Being able to read financials effectively, being in a strong position when discussing issues with clients and their accountants and or other professional advisors
  • Being able to place a loan submission before the lender with all the required  data and information in a format that the lender understands. This ensures all issues are addressed, a solution is provided and the lender can make an informed decision.

 Brokers need to understand that the smart Banks are placing their teams through the Diploma course as it provides the required skills and knowledge that the mortgage broker has also obtained from
undertaking the course. This allows for a level playing field to offset Mortgage/Finance brokers being ahead of them in the very competitive home/commercial loan industry with their knowledge and “hands on” experience. Sadly, an area of training that has been lost over the years is the ability to actually educate
individuals to pick up a set of financials and completely understand the issues of a particular business before they actually meet with the clients. The Diploma course gives them that ability and at the same time engenders self confidence in the individual by discussing financial situations with authority.

 Higher education

Currently there are many people in Australia across numerous professions struggling to cope with the new regulatory changes that are happening around them. They do not realise there is a far greater change taking
place both here in Australia and globally with the continual rollout of technology which is having a tremendous effect on all our lives. For whatever reason, the education systems of the past have not equipped us all for the new world. So, the only way to come into that space is to continually upgrade one’s knowledge and skills through education. Universities are now adapting and designing more relevant courses to meet the ever-changing environment in which we all operate. As a result without further education pathways being offered,
people will get left behind in attempting to achieve their dreams.

AAMC is offering University pathways with credits being available for studies already completed. It is a very strong advocate for the availability of ongoing increased education pathways because of the compelling evidence that supports such a direction.

 People need to understand it is a matter of choice and not something that is currently being forced upon them. However it needs to be understood, that as new entrants come into the industry that we know today, it
will be completely different tomorrow and will require a whole new set of skills that the current Certificate IV and Diploma do not provide. 

Declining incomes and staff rationalisation post GFC a degree would help. Diversification and undertaking further education can be great income generators and are also ways to look at the same issues from a
different angle and inevitably coming up with different solutions to solve those issues. The human brain uses on average 10% of its potential and by undertaking further studies it increases the use of nature’s wonderful under-used asset, called the brain.

I have been lucky to travel extensively with my business over the past few years and I am very convinced there is a massive education revolution happening offshore. Education in many cultures is placed as the number one priority, as it provides a vehicle in solving the many trials and tribulations that confront so many, even to the extent of putting food on the table. Australia has been in the past known as the lucky country as we have
had a great support structure in place when things go wrong, but that is changing constantly. Many overseas countries are now adopting the Australian education system as they see the strong value in career and education pathways. This forward thinking change of attitude is being obtained by using the structured Australian training programs, which rank amongst the best in the world.

What are they seeing that many Australians are not? Education to our friends in the Asia-Pacific region is about survival and success, not just existing. Technology has hit hard in many countries and many governments are now addressing these issues. The success of Australian workers into the future will rely on a more highly educated workforce that can meet the many new changes confronting us all on a daily basis.

 The bottom line – formal education or practical experience 

Completing a University degree on its own will not equip a person to enter the work force. It therefore stands to reason that the combination of both practical experience and education is far more powerful than either formal education or practical experience on their own. Practical experience alone does not equip a person for
the many changes that are constantly happening around us all on a daily basis. It’s just up to each individual as to what level or potential they wish to achieve out of life. 

I fondly remember a client of mine a few years ago that told me “Jeff, life is not a dress rehearsal; you only get one chance at it, so make your choices”.

One thought on “Education is a “must have”!

peterhornhardt September 10, 2011, 9:14 am

great advise

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