What a special time it is in our industry! With the Department of Labor implementation in full swing, and the emergence of the Fin Tech revolution, many of the individuals I’m interviewing are wondering if starting a career in financial planning now is kind of like starting a Blockbuster franchise right when Netflix was getting its start. There’s no doubt that our industry will change in the upcoming years, but as with anything in life, with change comes opportunity. Here are three reasons why I believe now is the perfect time to pursue a career in financial planning.
1. New Technologies Mean New Opportunities
When I started as a financial planner in 2005, I only sought clients within a few hours of my office. Farther away, and increased travel time would make it impossible to provide the level of service I always commit to. Fast forward to today, and high-quality video conferencing makes it possible to have clients across the nation. We can expect other new developments, including Fin Tech, to change the industry in perhaps radical ways, but ultimately to provide new opportunities for those willing to adapt. It sounds like a cliché, but new, young advisers (who aren’t set in their ways, yet) may be best positioned to take advantage of these opportunities.
2. The Field Is Aging
The average age of a financial planner today is 51*. That means that over the next decade, we will experience a tremendous changing of the guard within our industry. As advisers retire, there will be many clients who need to hire new advisers and will look for young, but already established, professionals. If you enter the field today, in five or ten years, that young-but-established professional will be you. You can also expect unprecedented opportunities to work with retiring planners as a successor planner.
3. Tech Can’t Sell; Humans Can
The products and services implemented in financial planning are sold, not bought, and that means financial advisers will always be necessary. Our industry is not like, say dentistry, where customers take the initiative to seek out services. Financial planning is important, but, unlike a toothache, it’s always possible to put off dealing with it for another day. To overcome the human tendency to procrastinate, our industry needs human advisers to go out and make the case that the time to deal with ones financial situation is now. That’s not something Fin Tech can do. Dentistry doesn’t have to be sold, it’s just bought, but financial planning will always require humans who can guide people along. That human can be you.
So, yes, this is a special time. Our industry is facing a lot of changes, and that is definitely intimidating some people. But ultimately, I see ours as a time of great opportunity. If you want to get on board with us, do not be discouraged. On the contrary, your timing couldn’t be more perfect.
*Cited from “Addressing the Shortage of Millennial Financial Advisors” by ThinkAdvisor; 03/28/2017