At Trusted Advisors we are obsessed with a few key subjects, such as trust, ethics, sound advice, compliance, and professional practice management, to name a few. After identifying the key subjects that are fundamental for advisory practices to be successful, the next step is to make sure that we start with the fundamentals (the key principles) that apply to each of these subjects. Every subject has essential, fundamental principles, good-to-know information and nice-to-know snippets. We firmly believe that every subject or activity must start with the basic principles because they are the key building blocks that lay the foundation for quality education. It is for this reason that our first series of modules and courses focus on the basic fundamentals.
The importance of the fundamentals
I am just going to use two quick examples from sports to illustrate the importance of the fundamentals. Firstly, at the time when Tiger Woods burst onto the golfing scene and became World # 1, someone asked Jack Nicklaus, the winner of 18 Major tournaments in an interview why he thought Tiger Woods was so good, and he said: “He has the best fundamentals of anyone that I have ever seen. You just don’t see fundamentals that are that good.”
Secondly, American professional basketball player, Kobe Bryant was recorded on YouTube saying, “What I had to do was to work on the basics, the fundamentals, while they relied on their athleticism and their natural ability. Because I stick to the fundamentals it caught up to them.”
The same principles around the importance of the fundamentals apply to financial advisory and intermediary services businesses. You build a business from the ground up and if you want a successful advisory practice, it must be founded on a strong foundation. The strongest possible foundation you can possibly set in place for your business is to build, grow and sustain it based on quality education that ensures that the basic fundamentals are taught first. It is for this reason that the first series of courses on the Trusted Advisor platform is about the fundamentals of four cornerstone subject matters, namely Ethics, Suitability of advice, Compliance and Professional practice management, all of which support the main theme of our business, namely Trust.
It is important to recognise that even seasoned advisors and intermediaries sometimes need to be reminded about the fundamentals and therefore we will always start our modules or courses with the fundamentals.