Sponsored by SPS Family
By Kristi Delongchamp
As the number of financial advisors continues to decrease year after year due to planned retirements, unforeseen events, or simply the frustration of increased regulation, firms must think creatively to breathe new life and excitement into the financial services profession. How can our industry rebuild and support a new generation of advisors? Can we create excitement?
Excitement is generated by opportunity…and our industry has an opportunity to renew itself. What makes a career as a financial advisor exciting? Established firms must answer this question and effectively communicate it. More broadly, we should plan to transform the general outlook on the financial services industry into one of positivity.
Where can we start? Education. As Francis Bacon said, “Knowledge is Power.” Our industry needs to start early, discussing and promoting financial wellness as a personal lifestyle as well as an exciting and fulfilling career path. We must start talking with children about finances as soon as we can, through daily conversations in our homes as well as through school. We then need to expand upon this financial awareness concept in the high school setting. Participate in career days. Offer to provide seminars. Take the initiative to talk with students about personal finances and the effects of debt while highlighting the personal satisfaction that comes from helping others with their financial futures. As we educate the new generation on the impact of buying, selling, saving, and giving, we can also describe how people dedicate their careers to assisting people with their finances and how rewarding and exciting this profession can be.
That brings us to today. What can we do as financial firms to show our commitment to individuals who show interest in the advisory profession and help break down the barriers of entry into our industry? Firms should dedicate individuals to tour local colleges and talent agencies to get in front of prospective individuals and tell our story. Discuss the initial steps of becoming a financial advisor. Emphasize the satisfaction that advisors feel when helping clients plan for their financial future. Outline the fundamental principles the financial services industry stands for.
As individuals become more engaged and committed, discuss financial assistance firms may be able to provide as many of these individuals are already pressured with current debt from school loans as well as daily living expenses. Firms can allocate financial resources to help qualified candidates offset some of the financial burden. By doing so, motivated individuals gain the opportunity to pursue their future career during a time they might not otherwise have the excess funds necessary for the licensing process.
The final and most important early opportunity firms should offer are mentorships. While it is important to be book-smart, true hands-on experience brings to light situations that can’t always be taught in the classroom setting or via books. Firms can offer that type of exposure through mentoring opportunities, whether by working in back office or branch office settings.
As an industry, we must become more involved in introducing the next generation of financial advisors to opportunities available. By providing education, financial resources, mentorships, and potential office placement, firms can take a proactive approach to offering opportunities that benefit not only the new generation, but also the generation looking for successors. To see “beyond the horizon,” our industry must think creatively and take action!
Kristi Delongchamp is a Firm Development Supervisor at SPS Family.
Learn more at www.sps-family.com.