Dr. Martin Seay, CFP, and I discussed how advisors can incorporate positive psychology into the planning process to give your clients an improved sense of well-being.

These are all interesting and valid ways of addressing the changes in the financial advice business from a similar angle. “What it really comes down to is that we as financial advisors are going to have to dramatically up our game with our interpersonal communication and our ability to relate and really understand what’s going on with a particular client family,” Moisand said.

Gone are the days when you could get your Series 7, go through a few weeks of training, and expect to add value in a client’s life.

Being a true value financial advisor today requires a multitude of skills that goes beyond the table stakes of wisdom, product knowledge and financial strategy development. It requires a combination of understanding psychology, interpersonal communication, family dynamics and having an internal disposition of empathy. Oh, and let’s not forget that you have to know how to run a business, cultivate new clients, manage people, deploy technology and deliver service to people who are spoiled by Netflix and Amazon. It ain’t easy!

Being a true value financial advisor also requires a lifelong commitment to learning, growing, and becoming more self-aware.

So, how much time do you spend “upping your game?”

How much time are you spending learning and practicing new skills?

When was the last time you “role played” a new conversation?

I’m a big fan of coming up with three words at the beginning of each year that are my daily reminder of the three big things I want to focus on or improve. For this year, my three words are “practice, voice and test.”

Practice is my daily reminder to carve out time to learn and work on new skills. In fact, in recent years, I’ve become enamored of the concept of “mastery.” I think of mastery as an aspiration, not a destination. It’s an intentional approach to practice and lifelong learning that keeps me relevant in an ever-changing world.