Younger Advsors Get Respect?

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Feb 4, 2009 11:49 am
This is my second post, although I've been following this forum for quite some time and it seems to be very informative.   I'm a new financial advisor "in training" fresh off a Pre-Medical degree from University, and I'm in my mid twenties.  Despite having alot of sales experience, it really wasn't anything related to the financial industry.  Obviously, it looks as though I am inexperienced and I can go through with an explaination of my "work ethic" and "determination"...... but negating these details, can someone shed some light on how potential clients will respond to a younger advisor's attempt to secure business.   Thanks in advance!  
Feb 4, 2009 11:53 am

People respond to young advisers the same way they respond to old prostitutes. 

Feb 4, 2009 11:58 am

Haha....thanks Hank.  Anymore constructive comments you can grace me with?

Feb 4, 2009 12:06 pm

Honestly, from what I have witnessed, you will have a hard time with older folks (the ones with money), and an easier time with younger folks (the ones without money).  People relate to their own, or at least look for what they “think” their advisor should look like (a stodgy old white guy). 

  This is not a rule, more of a generalization.  I have met some very good younger advisors (especially wholesalers) that had the ability to put older people at ease with their demeanor and knowledge.
Feb 4, 2009 1:11 pm

Coming from someone in their midtwenties that has been in production 1 year and a couple months, its very difficult. More often than not people tell me that my age is an issue. Not literally, "sorry, but you're too young for my account". But usually something like, "how old are you?" with a very sarcastic tone. I try to handle the concerns as best as possible. What I've found is that some people are just trying to find any reason to not do business, so who wants them anyway. Keep plugging along and you'll be fine. Now I have a good starter book (no inherited accounts) and my avg account sign is almost 200k per. It seems like people in the 45 - 55 years of age love me and much older like 75+ love me, but younger have no money and inbetween think I am too young.

You can worry about this concept, but its not something you can control. Keep your head down, make the dials, help your clients and no matter what age, they'll see your value to them.

Feb 4, 2009 1:15 pm

Of course the way around this is to act professional, and point out how their advisor will probably retire the same time they do(similar age and all) and they need someone who will be around the next 25 years, because those are the most important now that they are retired…

Feb 4, 2009 1:28 pm

Thanks B24 and Awesome.  I am prepared to live a little thrifty for a few years, but do clients consider material things such as the model/year of the car I drive before making their decision to invest with me?  My car is a mid 90's toyota.  I could afford a new car, but I prefer to save/invest my money because of the tough road ahead.

Feb 4, 2009 1:30 pm

Thanks iceco1d… Well, I guess my question should be “where can I get some grey hair dye?”

Feb 4, 2009 2:17 pm

Just wait a year or two.  If we keep having markets like last year it will come naturally. 

Feb 4, 2009 3:25 pm

[quote=The Duke]

Thanks B24 and Awesome.  I am prepared to live a little thrifty for a few years, but do clients consider material things such as the model/year of the car I drive before making their decision to invest with me?  My car is a mid 90's toyota.  I could afford a new car, but I prefer to save/invest my money because of the tough road ahead.

[/quote]   There have been other threads about this.  But listen, you are in no position to be worrying about your car.  As you said, you will be living "thrify" for some time.  Don't plow all your money into a car.  Plow it into your business.  As long as your car is not a nasty, rusted out clunker, it will likely have little impact (since most won't see your car anyway).
Feb 5, 2009 9:32 am

I’ve run into the age thing a handful of times too.  The best advice I have is always turn to rule number 1.

  1)Your way to on top of thing/busy/confident to care... or to act like you care.  If you ooze confidence, the naysayers won't stop long enough to ask because you'll be onto the next thing.   Know what your talking about, and be confident... always be confident.   the only people I've had any age issues with are the trashy 40-somethings who want to feel above me or don't know the right questions to ask and feel dumb so they feel like bringing me down to their level.  Just keep doing your thing and you'll be fine.
Feb 5, 2009 9:53 am

Yes, I’ve read a few posts refering to the “babyboomers” as the clients with the age issue.  This is unfortunate because they seem to be the demographic with most of the $$ for retirement/401k/etc…

Feb 5, 2009 10:38 am

Actually, I think the worst age group to work with is 35-50.  People in their 20’s (not that they have any money) are happy to take advice from professionals - they are a bit intimidated.  Once people hit around the age of 50, they “wise up” and realize they are staring down the barrel of retirement, and can use the help - they are mature enought to know what they don’t know.  The 35-50 age group thinks they know more than everyone, and that they are being scammed by anyone trying to help them.

Feb 5, 2009 10:55 am


You seem to have some experience in the field.  I am scheduled to start the Canadian Securities Course (equivalent to series 7) on the 13th.... but until then, I don't have much else to do.  I am eager to begin prospecting, but cannot really do this without a license.  It's driving me crazy just to sit here anticipating a tough road ahead, with long hours, to build a strong book of clients.  Is there ANYTHING I could be doing during the next three months of the course to prepare myself for what lies ahead, or to get a jump start?

Feb 5, 2009 10:58 am

join a community group, I don’t know what the canadian equivalent of a chamber of commerce, or kiwanis club is but find a way to network and meet business owners.  Build the relationships. Its never to early to become connected in your community.

  Best of luck to you duke
Feb 5, 2009 12:32 pm

What he said.

Get involved.  Start mapping out pockets of wealth.  Identify large companies with lots of rollover opportunities (I assume it's a similar process in CDA?).  Start trying to find employee directories.  Try to compile lists of names.  They key is contacts, so get as many as you can.
Feb 5, 2009 12:50 pm

Before I could sell, I scoured this site in the prospecting section to learn A LOT about how to generate clients.  It helped out a lot.  You could also get some books on how to prospect and sell.  As previously stated, join some organizations and get involved.  The more people see you, the less they consider you a “threat”.

As to the age issue, I have run into similar situations as B while out prospecting.  I’m very young to be in this business to give those who are not familiar with me an idea.  I have not ran into any outright objections or questions to my age, but I have noticed some hesitance.  Individuals in their 20’s to mid 30’s are often my best leads for the day.  They know they need help and that starting early is key.  Those in the 40’s - 50’s really do think they are all set and ready to retire next week.  I have not had much luck with those over 50 though.  In all reality, if you know what you are talking about and show them that you are not some second hand salesman, they will most often take you seriously.  I disqualify the “young” persona by being professional in everything I do, and by bringing up investments that many people in my area are not familiar with.  It has worked so far, and I hope it continues to work.

Feb 7, 2009 1:43 am

I’m 29.  I would guess most older people would guess I was 20.  I also worried about age before I started.  There are much larger hurdles ahead.  Like most things it will only be an issue if you are self conscious about it and make it an issue.

  My first client was a woman over 70 who I did not previously know, and I met her face to face before I sold her anything.  I was a muni bond, and she was a muni buyer, so she was just after the rate.  I have not had much luck moving in accounts from older clients yet.  I figure I'll just start with a small order and then out service whoever has the rest of their money and eventually it will come over.   Become a student of the markets.  Many people I talk to have only been investing for less than 30 years.  Talk to prospects about the bear market of 73 and 74.   Talk about the flat market from 66 to 82.  Ask them what their strategy is if the market continues to go lower, or does not just bounce back.  You passed (or will pass) the 7.  You have been trained.  You know more than them.   Just remember this.  You haven't lost them any money this year [yet :) ].  Their older and fatter current broker probably lost them at least 20+ percent (even though it probably wasn't his fault.)  Use that to your advantage.     Bob
Feb 7, 2009 5:49 pm

Bob has some great points.  I also found that older people take me more serious if I just call them “sir” or “m’am”.  It goes a long way.

Feb 8, 2009 4:27 pm

Thanks everyone.  Great advice! I hope some day I too can offer some insight to the newbies. 

I'm excited about this as a career, and (like everyone else starting out) my intentions are to do "whatever it takes" to build a strong book of business.  Having said that, anyone can work long hours to attempt to build a strong book of clients, but many reps fail miserably in the business . . .  so what sets the successful reps apart from everyone else?