April 5, 2012

Advisors’ Military Service a Lure for Clients: Survey

Transferable skills, sense of integrity and discipline are highlights

More than half of respondents said skills learned in military service applied directly to financial advising. (Photo: AP) More than half of respondents said skills learned in military service applied directly to financial advising. (Photo: AP)

Military veterans in search of a second career might want to consider becoming financial advisors, according to the results of a recent survey. Respondents cited various reasons they would want to work with former soldiers and sailors, and also said they believed that skills gained in military service were transferable to the field.

The telephone survey of 1,000 Americans, conducted by ORC International on behalf of Edward Jones and released by the latter on Tuesday, indicated that 75% of respondents asked whether they would like to work with a financial advisor who had served in the military said yes.

In addition, 90% said that the skills gained in military service were transferable to post-military careers, with 57% seeing them as directly transferable to the financial advisory field. Interestingly, the percentage rose with income and education. Among those with incomes of $100,000 or more, 95% saw the value of military experience to a civilian career, and among college graduates, 93% did.

Working with a former member of the military was attractive to people for a number of reasons. Sixty-one percent cited a desire to thank former servicemembers for their service to the country. Even more wanted to work with ex-military advisors because of traits that were attractive to them: integrity (72%), discipline (77%), and goal orientation (73%).

Jim Weddle, Edward Jones managing partner, said in a statement, "Since our founding, Edward Jones has recognized the transferable skills and exemplary characteristics military veterans can offer our clients. We currently employ more than 1,300 Edward Jones financial advisors with prior military experience. That's 11% of our total and we'd welcome more."

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