What Financial Advisors Don't Tell You About Being a Financial Advisor

practice management

Being a financial advisor is a dream job. That’s coming from someone who’s been doing this for over 14 years. but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

In this blog we’re going to explore the pros and cons of being an advisor. If you’ve been an advisor for sometime, you can be reminded that you’re not the only one experiencing these difficulties. Or if you’re not an advisor, you can make an informed decision on whether it’s the right career path for you.

Challenges and rewards for advisors

If you’re not aware of the challenges and rewards that come with being a financial advisor, you may find yourself struggling to succeed or feeling unfulfilled in your career. As we go through the list of pros and cons of being a financial advisor together, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you’re an advisor, tell me in the comments what the big pros or what are the cons you’ve found in your career. Put them in the comments below

Pro #1: Impacting clients lives for the better

First, I’ll go over the pros. Number one pro is that this career provides an opportunity to impact clients lives for the better. We get the opportunity to change someone’s life as an advisor because we’ve got the power to help achieve their financial goals.

Whether it’s business goals or whether it’s planning their retirement, or just getting started for a young family or a married couple. Being able to serve people in this way and getting paid to do so well is incredibly rewarding.

The area of money can be such a burden for so many people and families. We’ve got the ability  through proper financial planning to remove that stress. It’s really an amazing feeling when we hear clients say they feel so much better after starting to work with you, or they feel so much better at the end of the conversation.

Pro #2: Meet interesting people and learn

Another pro is that you get to work with people and all sorts of industry. Down the road you might make it to the point where you have to narrow your focus on one industry or one certain type of person, but most of the time you’ll have clients who are experts in different fields and areas of work. 

I always find it interesting to learn more about the many areas my clients worked in and just hear from them about the expertise that they have. It’s hard to be bored because you’re always meeting and talking with different types of people. At least that’s my experience that I’ve enjoyed.

Pro #3: Flexibility in your schedule for a healthy work/life balance

The third pro is as advisors, we can have a flexible schedule. If you’ve been an advisor for some time then you already know that advisors should set expectations very early on at the beginning of the relationship with their clients. Establish what your working hours are and when you’re going to be off.

One of my friends takes every Friday off, and he’s been doing that for years. The focus then on that three day weekend is time with family. So depending on where you work, you should be able to have a pretty flexible schedule and design your own hours.

Con #1: Continuous learning takes a lot of time and effort

Now let’s get into the cons and what most advisers are not telling you. Number one con is that there’s a pretty big learning curve when it comes to the technical knowledge that we need to know in order to help clients well. The need to gain knowledge doesn’t stop once you get your license or you become a CFP. It’s really a continual learning process.

Rules change sometimes every month and at least every year. Could be Congress changing rules about specific retirement accounts or tax laws or estate planning rules. We need to continually be up-to-date. We need to learn and be curious in order to help provide help to our clients the best way possible.

Con #2: Technical knowledge is necessary but communications skills are mandatory

The second con is that even if we’re a 10 out of 10 in the technical knowledge area of being an advisor, if we’re only a 3 out of 10 communicator the clients will see us as a 3 out of 10 on the technical side as well.

Just remember this quote, “you’re only as good as you can communicate.” This is really a shame, because that means that the best advisors don’t always win. The best communicators tend to rule the field. This leads to issues and why our industry is sometimes seen as untrustworthy.

There’s a lot of 10 out of 10 communicators out there that come in and call themselves advisors, and then they sell products to people that don’t need them or can’t afford them, and that reflects on our industry, allowing clients to view us as just sleazy sales people.

The secret is to work hard at the technical skills, but we also have to continually develop the communication skills as well.

If you want weekly tips to help you get better at both of those, join my email list and subscribe to my youtube channel, because that’s what we’re all about. We’re helping advisors learn communication skills in order to help their clients and their businesses more.

Con #3: Skills to market your services are needed, and advice is often outdated 

Another con that I hear from everyone, and I remember from the first few years as an advisor is that we need to continue to find new clients. Unfortunately, the way that the industry teaches prospecting is wrong and outdated. At Streamline, once we stopped prospecting and we started working on becoming more findable, that’s when our business really took off. And now we’re getting 40 people a month reaching out to us for an introductory call.

Con #4: Financial advisors work in a high-stress environment

The next con is that this can be a high-stress job. The responsibility of helping people with one of the most critical parts of their life is a big one, and great advisors don’t take it lightly.

According to the study a few years ago, after the 2008 financial crisis, 93% of financial planners of the survey experienced symptoms that were consistent with that of medium to high levels of post traumatic stress. After the financial crisis a lot of advisers were having a hard time. I lived through that as well and remember it well.

But you know what kind of advisers had less stress and anxiety during that period? It was the ones that were able to communicate with clients on a deeper level than just facts and figures. Advisors who could understand what their clients were feeling and then connect through empathy. When you can combine both the financial with the non-financial advice and communicate effectively, that’s when you’re gonna be one of the top 1% of advisers out there.


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