Last Fall, Quest CE conducted a comprehensive survey among over 20,000 financial advisers, and the results reveal some fairly telling trends about how advisers view continuing education (CE) and the wholesalers who offer it. The survey results underscore the crucial role that free CE plays in building stronger, lasting relationships between advisers and the companies they work with.

Specifically, the findings shed light on the areas of study that advisers are most interested in, their preferred methods of receiving CE, and the significant impact that wholesaler-led events offering free CE can have on adviser engagement and perception. By understanding and catering to the CE preferences and needs of advisers, companies can effectively attract, retain, and build trust with their adviser network.

Financial advisers expressed a strong interest in receiving training on various topics, with the top five being Retirement Planning (60%), Social Security (60%), Tax Updates and Strategy (57%), IAR Strategies (47%), and Annuities – Advanced Strategies (43%). These findings suggest that companies and wholesalers should focus on providing CE opportunities in these areas to meet the needs and interests of financial advisers.

When it comes to the preferred method of receiving CE, 40% of respondents favored virtual webinars, while 26% preferred on-demand options such as online whitepapers, podcasts, and video replays. This indicates a growing preference for flexible and accessible CE formats that allow advisers to learn at their own pace and convenience. Companies should consider investing in these formats to cater to the diverse learning preferences of their adviser network.

The survey also revealed that a significant portion of financial advisers (40%) attend company or wholesaler-sponsored CE events to pay for the majority of their CE credits. This highlights the importance of offering free CE opportunities to attract and retain advisers. In fact, 82% of respondents said they are more likely to attend a wholesaler-led event or webinar if it offers free CE, compared to events without CE offerings.

Moreover, 72% of advisers view wholesalers that offer CE as being more knowledgeable about products and services than those who do not. This perception can significantly impact the level of trust and credibility that advisers place in their wholesaler partners. By providing high-quality CE programs, wholesalers can demonstrate their expertise and commitment to supporting the professional development of financial advisers.

In conclusion, the survey results underscore the crucial role that free continuing education plays in building stronger, lasting relationships with financial advisers. By offering CE opportunities in high-demand areas such as Retirement Planning, Social Security, and Tax Updates, and by providing flexible learning formats like virtual webinars and on-demand content, companies and wholesalers can effectively meet the needs of their adviser network.

Furthermore, wholesalers who offer CE are perceived as more knowledgeable, which can lead to increased trust and loyalty among advisers. Investing in free CE programs is a strategic move that can yield long-term benefits for companies. To learn more about Quest CE’s value-add CE programs, and the different delivery methods we help companies administer, click here.