Let’s start with the question you may be asking yourself – is the firm I start with really that important? A staggering 70-80% of financial advisors will leave the industry by their fourth year. Fact.
But why is that? Why is the attrition rate in the financial advising industry so high?
This metric isn’t meant to scare you, but to encourage you to do your due diligence before selecting a financial advising firm to start your career with.
At Consolidated Planning, we see the value in providing our financial advisors adequate support and resources to continually learn, do their job effectively, and ultimately have a successful and meaningful career.
With countless financial firms, it can be overwhelming to decide which is the best fit for you. In this article, you will learn how choosing the right financial firm directly impacts how successful you will be and what questions you should answer to select the right firm for you.
The Why, How, and What of Joining the Right Financial Firm for Your Career
Why Do You Want to Be A Financial Advisor?
Being a financial advisor is not an easy career. You may have been told that it’s the hardest job to make $25,000 a year but the easiest job to make $125,000 a year. That’s not too far off from the truth. Building a book of clients, regulatory requirements, managing client expectations, and market fluctuations are some of the stressors in the life of a financial advisor. With that said, having your eyes set on your why is essential.
Why financial advising? If your answer is helping people, you’re off to a great start for a successful career. Once you have your why, your next concern should be about execution. If you’re unsure about your motivation try to take a step back and consider what’s important to you.
Making a career change is a significant life event and something you’re obviously spending a great deal of time considering. So, ask yourself, what sort of things bring me joy? What do I enjoy doing that doesn’t feel like daunting work?
If you’re still unclear it may not be the right career choice for you or the right time for you to explore being a financial advisor. If you would like to talk through these questions, it may be beneficial to talk to our recruiters.
How Will You Help People?
Once you’re clear that you want to help people, you next need a firm that will support your vision. Each firm has different values and will offer varying resources that determine how much time you can allocate to being in front of your clients and prospects. Compensation is simply the byproduct of helping people.
At Consolidated Planning, we have an emphasis on people before products and our planning process supports that.
What Alliance Will Allow You To Work Towards Your Goal of Helping People?
Shared goals, shared outcomes.
While you are building your practice as a financial advisor you’re also collaborating with your chosen financial firm. Both you and the firm should align on how you will spend time achieving your set goals, taking into account your unique abilities, and how to ensure your time is being applied towards its highest and best use.
Does this firm expect you to spend the bulk of your week doing tasks from behind your screen or do they understand the critical component of time spent in front of your connections? Misalignment of these expectations can hinder your ability to do your job effectively, affect your career trajectory, or even impact your long-term success.
How Will You Spend Most Of Your Time As A Financial Advisor?
In any career, the goal should be to spend your time doing the thing you’re better at than anyone else and the thing you enjoy doing more than anything else. While sometimes more aspirational than attainable, the closer you can come to checking both of these boxes, the less it ultimately feels like work.
As a financial advisor, there are two tasks that your day revolves around: revenue-generating activities and non-revenue-generating activities.
This is the relationship side of the business. The list of revenue-generating activities is fairly finite and includes identifying leads, prospecting, networking, client meetings, service opportunities, and client appreciation and marketing events. All of these activities have one thing in common people – more specifically relationships. Developing, cultivating, and maintaining relationships will ultimately lead to a successful practice.
At the end of the day, clients work with you because they trust you, like you, and think you’ll do the right thing by them. Not because your products are better or cheaper than others.
Unlike revenue generating activities, non-revenue generating activities involve an almost infinite list of tasks. This can be data entry, prepping/processing paperwork, running proposals – all tasks that are necessary in helping clients, but that advisors aren’t directly compensated for.
For instance, preparing and processing client paperwork that hypothetically takes you 2 hours to complete vs an hour will not make you 2x the money. In fact, we’d make the argument that it ended up costing you because it’s time you could have spent on revenue generating activities.
The Pareto principle, or 80/20 rule, can be applied to how most advisors spend their day. 80% of time is spent on one side of the business and 20% is spent on the other side of the business. How most advisors are splitting their time might surprise you though.
Most are spending 80% of their day on non-revenue-generating activities. 80%. The other 20% of their time is spent on revenue-generating activities which is with people. With these numbers, it’s no surprise why the attrition rate is so high in this industry.
If success is ultimately dependent upon your activity level with regards to being in front of people, which of these activities do you want the bulk of your day to be made up of? Your most likely answer is revenue-generating activities. Compensation as a financial advisor comes from revenue-generating activities and helping people.
Who will provide you the resources that allow you to delegate the non-revenue generating activities off your plate so you can focus on the thing you’re better at than anyone else and the thing you enjoy doing more than anything else?
How Do You Want To Spend Your Day As A Financial Advisor?
If the intrigue of being a financial advisor is in you entering data, sitting behind a desk most of the day filling out paperwork, or crunching numbers there’s probably an easier way to earn a living and do the things you enjoy doing than being a financial advisor.
If you’re most interested in interacting with people, the next question is how can I ensure my success rather than becoming another statistic?
It starts with choosing the right firm for you. There is no one size fits all answer. Choosing to align with a firm means aligning with their way of doing business. In our case, that means putting our client-first strategy of planning in place.
This alignment sets up the trajectory for how quickly you can grow and develop as a financial advisor resulting in productivity for helping people and finally revenue to your practice.
The decision is up to you and based on what you want your practice to look like. How do you want to spend your day as a financial advisor? What firm will support how you want to spend your days?
If you want to focus on revenue-generating activities with a consultative approach to planning, Consolidated Planning might be the right firm for you to start your career with. Reach out to our recruiters for the next steps in joining our team as a financial advisor.
2022-147609 Exp. 12/24
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