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Advisors need to improve time management skills

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Only one in eight financial advisors believe they fully control their time or practices, according to a new report.

This finding is unveiled in the “2014 Time Management and Productivity Study,” a report by the FPA Research and Practice Institute(RPI), a program of the Financial Planning Association (FPA). Based on input of 750 financial service professionals nationwide, the research was carried out subsequent to RPI’s inaugural “The Future of Practice Management study” last fall, which revealed advisors lack of time management skills.

The study shows that, despite investing significant time in their businesses, only 13 percent of the survey respondents say they are completely in control of their time, 10 percent feel in complete control of their businesses, and more than half of advisors feel out of control.

On average, those advisors who feel somewhat or completely in control of their time and their business are holding approximately 50 more client meetings per year. The greatest perceived obstacles the advisors face (as it relates to increasing productivity) are:

  • Trying to do too much – 36 percent;
  • Increased administrative burden – 31 percent; and
  • Procrastination – 30 percent.

The report additionally identifies aspects of an advisor’s practice that can yield greater efficiency and sense of control:

  • The advisors who had clearly defined business goals (68 percent) and personal goals (59 percent) were more likely to have more control;
  • The quality of the business plans differed for those advisors who are in control. Eighty-four percent of those teams who are in control rate their plan as effective compared to 44 percent who are not in control;
  • 51 percent of advisors indicated that having clearly defined/standardized processes was the best way to improve efficiency (followed by better delegation (47 percent) and better scheduling (38 percent);
  • 44 percent of teams who are in control have a set schedule compared to 20 percent who are not in control; and
  • Those advisors who are in control are more likely to have used tools, such as a time tracker (42 percent of teams who are in control compared to 28 percent who are not) and are less likely to deviate from their schedules.


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