One of the most common questions we receive from young professionals is, “how do I make the jump to being a Financial Advisor?”
In my youth I spent nearly two years meeting with some of the most successful financial advisors. Success (in my mind) was simply defined by who had the most assets. At the time, I naively assumed that whoever managed the most assets was, by default, “the best financial advisor”.
I was wrong.
The truth is that the most “successful” financial advisors are inordinately gifted and hardworking salespeople.
Let me be clear: This does not mean that they are inadequate financial advisors. However, the skill set that sets them apart is their ability to build relationships and gather assets.
If your passions and skills lie in the activity of financial advisement, such as investment management and financial planning, then you might be shocked after you accept a job as a Financial Advisor at one of the large institutions.
In most cases, your job, your pay, and your incentives are 100% focused on “gathering wallet share.”
There’s nothing wrong with being a great salesperson and winning clients; in fact, it’s an extremely necessary function. Unfortunately, plenty who want to become a Financial Advisor don’t fully understand what they’re walking into.
You are not given a list of names to call. There are no mentors to help you validate your offering. There are no clients to serve -- until you find them for yourself.
It’s just you, your business card, and your shiny new licenses after you pass your exams. So, what are you supposed to do?
After years of seeing the world of conflicted financial advice, we concluded that the industry needs to grow up. Both for the sake of clients, and the future Financial Advisors looking to make an impact in the lives of clients.
The next generation of financial advisors need a better path; one that doesn’t leave consumers bearing the risk of their hopeful achievement. Our industry needs great salespeople, it needs brilliant minds for investments and research, it needs people with a passion for comprehensive financial planning, and it needs people who are purposeful in helping families thrive across generations.
Bottom line: It takes a village.
Being a great financial advisor shouldn’t be (and isn’t) about going it alone. It’s about collaborating with like-minded professionals to maximize the value you delivered to clients who are trusting you to operate with their best interests in mind (not the interest of the company you work for).
Unfortunately, 90% + of the industry isn’t set up to accommodate this type of collaboration or operation. That’s why I had to get out, why we had to start a new firm with a new vision, and why we’re determined to #RebuildWallStreet. The future will look the same today unless we do something about it!
So, do you really want to be a Financial Advisor?
If the answer is still “YES!” then do your homework on how you can contribute to the solution instead of becoming part of the problem. As JFK once said:
“There are costs and risks to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”
Our industry needs more amazing financial advisors with the capacity and freedom to serve clients with their own unique gifting. But it starts with you.
How can you best do your part to improve the industry? Contact us; we’d love to discuss that with you!
Cale Dowell serves as Vice President for Archetype Wealth Partners and resides in Houston with his wife Lynne and their young daughter. Cale is seeking to create a paradigm shift in the way the financial services industry serves and impacts people. Archetype exists to help families thrive across generations.
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