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28 year old with a few options

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Jan 22, 2017 6:42 pm

Hello all,

I've been considering a career switch to financial advising/coaching for a new months. Some background on me:

-28 years old, married, no debt, no kiddos (yet) with 18k in the bank and a home purchased. Wife works and we can live on her income (school teacher.)

-Good networker with a background in broadcasting/pr and journalism. Walking up and talking to folks is no issue.

-No previous advising experience.

I've been through a few interviews with New York Life. LOVE the office culture and the leadership. Several mutual friends have vouched for the leader of the office. I have a hard time, though, selling whole life to 20-30 year olds (most of my base) because I believe that term is a better alternative. I've had folks go through presentations with me on whole life but still don't totally think it is for everyone. So.... since they are a WHOLE LIFE company, we have an issue.

I have a lunch arranged with an advisor and a recruiter for Edward Jones for the 31st. I am in St. Louis so I see them around... a lot. From my research, seems like a good place to start. Training matters a lot to me and they seem to be tops. Not above knocking on doors either.

I also have an arranged lunch through a local firm here to ask for guidance and to see if I can apprentice my way into their firm. NI can bring my broadcasting, PR and marketing skills to the table and I've been told that this firm just put in a studio to do videos, podcasts and so forth (i.e. what I am good at currently.)

I aim to do this because I genuiely enjoy meeting and coaching people. Of the folks I've asked about if they think I should do this, most have told me that they are surprised I haven't already. Money is a nice perk but the goal of helping folks is more important.... and I mean that. In five years, I'd like to eventually get my own practice going, independently.

Is there anything else to consider or is there anyway that anyone can think of for me to work my way into this business? What should I look for and what should be the requirements (all the Series) I should aim to get to be a complete advisor?

I've operated a business before and love the idea of working for myself. Any advice or guidance is extremely appreciative.


Jan 22, 2017 11:59 pm

This is a great post. You're right not to sell something you don't believe in and have a reasonable approach, from what I can tell.

Have you considered working at a wirehouse or bank?

Wirehouses (e.g., Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS) have a training program and a variety of options for clients. Generally, there are ambitious sales goals you need to clear over a 1-2 year period, and your salary often disappears after that period (in favor of commissions from client assets). Many people get "flushed out" to a bank or independent, or even leave the industry altogether, and many times the assets stay with the wirehouse. But it's a reasonable "foot in the door" and credibility builder, especially helpful if you have a great mentor.

Banks with wealth management (e.g., PNC, SunTrust, Wilmington Trust/M&T) already have clients in-house. Sales goals are more modest than wirehouses, and more about pushing product than asset-gathering. It's a foot in the door, without significant sales pressure. The schedule is generally more structured and routine. I have heard mixed reviews on the burden of compliance at banks.

On how to be a "complete advisor" with licenses, it boils down to what you want to offer (e.g., insurance). I'd also give some thought to credentials. If you want to be "the" dig deep investment analysis advisor, the CFA charter is the most competitive and best recognized one. If you want to be "the" personal financial planning advisor, the CFP is the most common and recognized distinction. But there are many others (e.g., CIMA), and whether or not to do them will probably be guided by a combination of your interests and what your clients expect.

Good luck!

Jan 24, 2017 1:03 am

I would like to take a moment to thank you for you kindess an candor.

I hadn't considered a wirehouse but I may have a contact at one. I will reach out. I do have a friend that is in good standing with SunTrust as well as PNC. I will get in touch with them.

I completely agree and my goal is to obtain the CFP designation within six years. The more I research, the more I see that Edward Jones would be a good place to start. I've read plenty of negative items on this forum about them but, I've found, that if you dig enough, there is dirt on everyone. Ultimately, I am looking to just get inside the business, hussle like I have my career thus far and make things happen.

Thanks again!