Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch advisor and one of the top 350 wealth managers in the country as voted for by Forbes, is an incredibly inspirational man who has dedicated his life to finance. I had the great fortune to meet up with him recently at a charity event where he was supporting an extremely worthy cause. Despite the party atmosphere, I did manage to pick his brain a little about what it takes to find the same kind of success which he has found in Miami, where he works with the ultra-rich, in investment and asset management. Thankfully he did share a few tips with me on how to be successful in the financial management game.

Playing The Long Game

The first thing that we spoke about was how many young financial advisors come in and expect to be making people millions in their first few years. What is important is not how big you win, but how often, and this is the approach which you must use if you want to find long term success. Advisors live and die by their reputation and if someone goes in and starts to take risks with people’s money in an effort to prove themselves, they could destroy their reputation forever.

Clients Matter

Another mistake which is often seen is advisors thinking that all they need to do is give great advice, in order to find success. Patrick tells me that this is folly however, because ultimately you are working in sales, whereby the customer is the most important person involved, given the fact that it is their money which you are playing with. Patrick tells me that he is on first name terms with all of his clients, he treats them well and they do the same to him, it is within this trusting relationship that success is found, something which many advisors miss.

Investing The Time

Whilst Dwyer has now elevated himself to a position whereby he is managing more than researching, he tells me that for years he would work 15 hour days to help his clients as best as he could. The reason for the crazy hours was so that he could research markets, local markets in Miami and markets around the world looking at what impacts them, predicting how they might change, and ultimately using this information to give the best advice possible. Studying at college is not enough and the real studying starts once you begin working.

Humility

Finally Patrick told me that you get nowhere by being mean and that he prides himself on his nice guy image, something which the clients like too. If you want to be a successful advisor, you must observe patience, be hard working, attentive, and ensure that your number one focus is always the clients.