Career changer here looking for a PT fee-only job/mentor

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Apr 21, 2011 9:21 pm

I'm a near-40-year-old looking to make a career change as a financial planner.  I am indifferent with regard to working for fee-only or commission, but after some research, no reputable firm will sponsor me for a 7/66 as a part-timer (I was told that this was mostly for compliance reasons), which lead me to fee-only.  I will be taking the s65 in 2-weeks and registering in New York State, afterwards I would like to get a job as an intern/PT/paraplanner working 5-7 hrs a week,  just to learn the business.  I'm wondering if this is a good idea or if there are other ways for me to get my foot in the door.  Starting sooner is not an option since I am 3-years away from a government pension.

Apr 24, 2011 1:59 am


It is great you are working toward your second career. Please take the
following as a helpful suggestion and not a criticism.

I have to say as an employer and person who has hired many people over the
years; I would be concerned about your comment that you 'are indifferent
whether you work commission or fee-only'. You may not have meant it as I read
it, but it sounded rather caviler. If I heard that comment in an interview, it
would have been a huge negative strike against you.

These are fundamentally different careers and have a different fiduciary responsibility.
In the first case, your fiduciary responsibility to maximize the profit of the company
you are sell for, while in the latter case, your fiduciary responsibility is to
the client first – even ahead of your own pocket book. (I know there is a huge
debate about this raging right, but in my mind, it is a clear distinction.)

What is your motivation for wanting to become a planner? That is what I
would want to hear as a hiring manager, as opposed to 'whatever'.

Again, I say this to help, and not to criticize. My comments may be a bit
harsh, but please take them in the spirit of trying to help.


Apr 25, 2011 9:30 pm

Thanks for the feedback; I didn't think your comment was harsh at all.  My indifference at this point has more to do with just getting my foot in the door rather than a particular investment philosophy.  It's difficult to get a postion on a part-time basis so I am willing to take any learning opportunity  I can.

Apr 26, 2011 11:44 am

5-7 hours a week is not even a half a day and little to no traction can be achieved.  You have to ask yourself what can you bring to the table other than time and the will to learn?  You are basically asking someone established in the business to let you sit in on case development so 3 years down the road you can use it to generate income for yourself. 

You need to put some skin in the game and pitch yourself to prospective employers.  Unless you generate new income for the potential firm they are just wasting time training a less than part time worker.  And what consumer wants to work with an "advisor" who works 5-7 hrs a week and is new to the business.

Similar to Andy, not trying to be harsh just realistic. 

May 4, 2011 4:06 am

 My indifference at this point has more to do with just getting my foot in the door rather than a particular investment philosophy. 

Sep 28, 2013 12:52 pm

If I were three years away from a Government pension I wouldn't be looking for a full-time position either. That said, I also agree with the previous comments. The best thing to do now is prepare yourself to test for a CFP designation. This will expose you to the theoretical and technical foundations of the profession. I would also begin attending FPA functions and network with practitioners and allied professionals.