About 25 years ago, you might have been preparing to graduate from college and beginning your new professional career. Do you remember what your dreams were or how little you really knew about life and business? The one thing you probably didn’t consider was a hiring manager viewing you as a non-performing asset or as some say, “an expense to their P&L”. By some miracle, you landed that first job and under your mentor’s tutelage, learned the business and are now enjoying the dividends of your hard work. Congratulations, but what’s next?
As you begin to turn your attention to the next 25 years, have you given any thought to who will succeed you and continue to care for your clients’ financial lives? Wouldn’t it be rewarding if you could identify a younger version of you – hungry to learn, driven to succeed, who could take care of your clients the way you have? It’s possible and all it will take is for you to view that “younger you” the same way your first hiring manager viewed you – as a high potential asset, worth the investment (not an expense!) and who will deliver long-term results.

Filling a Leaky Bucket

According to a 2013 Cerulli research survey, Financial Advisor headcount will fall to 297,000 by the end of 2016 or nearly a 7% drop since 2011. Part of that decline is due to the aging advisor population and the lack of updated entry-level training programs. This poses an interesting dilemma for the independent broker-dealers (IBDs) and Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) because they don’t have the resources, time or skills to identify and train new professionals. Frequently, they depend on “recently-trained” individuals and quickly find that they have to “untrain” them. In order to meet the demand for advisory professionals, IBDs and RIAs will need to search elsewhere for talent and that talent is now graduating from college. These new graduates are looking for someone to give them the same opportunity someone gave you. Yes, they are inexperienced and will not immediately generate revenue, but then again, did you when you first started out? What they can do is provide leverage by performing tasks that you should delegate, and through their contributions they learn the business. Additionally, the daily demands prohibit your efforts to attack the “someday list” of productive growth-oriented projects.
Imagine if you had someone who could set-up and manage your social media campaigns or set-up targeted email lists and create engagement strategies with prospective clients. Those efforts might just be foreign to your way of thinking—but so very much in alignment with how their generation communicates and builds trust. These important activities will help improve your perception among younger clients while increasing your relevancy. And in the meantime, you will be training and investing in “the future you” – someone who could one day carryforward your hard-earned success. The rewards will not be immediate, but you will be building something greater than a successful business – a lasting legacy. Pay it forward.