When I heard about the EFA certificate, I thought fain had a financial advisory title that is related to financial advice, because as a technician I have been in the finance business for several years and I have a general overview of finance but never hurts to confirm your education in finance with a professional certificate that I would distinguish from the rest of the market. Then I realized that the skills I have had no outward sight. I was one of the many financial advisors in the Czech Republic and nobody can see and know something more than others. This led me to the idea that I want to get an EFA certificate because it is a real confirmation of my abilities and skills.
I didn’t count on the fact that getting an EFA certificate would be a walk through the so-called pink orchard. In preparation for the exams, I quickly graduated in areas that I had known rather superficially and began to realize the links between finance and other disciplines such as law or taxation.
After rehearsals, and especially after several conversations with people who already have the title, I fully realized that even though I can formally rank among the elite of financial advisors in our country, I still do not know anything and have almost no experience. After six years in the field, I suddenly felt that I was just leaving the kindergarten, going to first grade and learning to read and write. Classic words: Scio nihil scire. Today, I consider EFA certification to be necessary for anyone who really thinks about financial consulting.
Benefit for me
The EFA title has given me a solid foundation in knowledge. This increased my confidence in dealing with clients and business partners, because it was no longer possible to catch me on the plums and I went through a formal examination of my knowledge. With this confidence, two other feelings quickly came.
A sense of responsibility for the quality of your work and your education. Perhaps I could not bear the idea that I would be satisfied with the EFA title only with the average, whether in knowledge or responsibility for the development of the field as a whole.
The second feeling is the feeling of great humility in front of our field. Through contact with financial advisors with even higher education, the highest foreign CFA title, I found out how much we influence our clients’ future quality of life and how we do the job.
Today, I consider the EFA certificate to be of great benefit to my work through regular follow-up training. I constantly keep an eye on the field and have the opportunity to be inspired by our and foreign colleagues. This further enhances the quality of my work. After two years with the EFA title, I am experiencing a tremendous inner peace, because I realize that, besides the other bearers of the same title, I will do my job for the client better than anyone else, and if I cannot yet devise a suitable solution, it is rather that it does not exist than I didn’t think.
Benefits for clients
At work, the EFA title will not appear at first glance. EFA does not add one extra hand or another head to anyone. The benefit for clients lies in the change of communication and internal setting of the advisor. In his higher healthy self-confidence and humility. Only later will there be a difference in the actual results of the work. In that we want to make our work truly a lifetime that we do it so that our clients can live their lives to their liking with the least risk. I think that the difference between whether an advisor has an EFA title or not will take a few years to appear. But as soon as they show up, it will only grow.
What will be next?
I would divide this question into two. First, what happens to the financial industry as a whole and after I do it myself. The first question is quite easy to answer because it will surely be a consolidation of the market, either for regulatory reasons or for increased client requirements. This consolidation will inevitably lead to an increase in the quality of work, an increase in barriers to entry into the sector and the necessary professionalization and division of labor. I think there will soon be a time when an excellent assistant and excellent technical background will be necessary for a top financial advisor. From the educational point of view, I even expect that one day the EFA title will be a prerequisite for the work of a financial advisor. And who will not have this title will simply not be a financial advisor but only a dealer of financial products. Thus, all people who really want to make financial advice and planning and not just sell products will want to earn an EFA.
From a personal perspective, I always want to be one of the absolute elite of financial advisors in our country. So my education definitely doesn’t end with EFA, rather it starts. During this year, I would like to complete a study for gaining a higher European EFP (European Financial Planner) certification and in the next year I expect to pass the certification exam and be able to be one of the holders of this title.