Save the Advice Industry! Hire a Retirement-Plan Intern

In the last few months, many industry magazines and websites have drawn attention to the shortage of young college graduates entering the financial-planning and investment-advice industry. These same media outlets often focus on the lack of reliable succession plans for the older generation of investment advisors. A recent study found that 25% of today’s advisors are likely to retire over the next decade. Plus, the financial-advice industry will need 237,000 new advisors just to keep up with those retiring reps.

In other words, the investment-advice industry needs young advisors. It also needs these advisors need to build profitable businesses, so they can fund succession plans and buy advice practices of their choice in a few years.

Fortunately, there is a straightforward and logical solution to this industry dilemma, namely a new approach to hiring.

Many advisory firms prefer to hire advisors with established books of business, and advisors with robust levels of client assets, as well as fees and commissions, are able to attract big recruitment bonuses. But why not try a different – and potentially more lucrative – approach?

Experienced investment advisors can hire young and eager-to-learn investment advisor interns without expensive recruitment bonuses. These interns can gather existing client assets that are not currently being managed by most existing investment advisory firms.

New investment advisor interns can be profitable from day one. They can also begin to build the client asset base that can fund a firm’s succession plan in a few short years.

Local colleges and universities offer business internship programs for their students studying for degrees in finance or business, for instance. Plus, my boutique investment-advice firm has hired interns who attend the same local private high school my kids do. 

College kids need the chance to learn about prospecting, making presentation, building client relationship and sharing financial advice. These opportunities are the only way college kids can decide if the investment-advice business is right for them.

You don’t have to bet the future of your practice.

Training Steps

Let the young kid call your existing clients and ask for a copy of their company retirement plan menus.  Show the young intern how to put the mutual fund ticker symbols into your mutual fund analysis database. 

Help the intern come up with an investment-management strategy for that company retirement-plan menu. Then, help them compare your firm’s investment-management strategy for the company retirement-plan menu vs. the prospect’s existing company retirement-plan account holdings.

These interns now have an investment-management strategy.  All they need is someone to talk to.

My interns actively prospect individual company retirement-plan participants who work at the same company as my existing clients. I don’t have time to call every prospect that I learn about, so my interns make the prospecting calls and e-mails for me.

I am not a compliance expert.  But I have been in financial services long enough to know what I can do and what I can’t do. My interns don’t break any rules; I monitor their every phone call and communication.

I have built a new investment advisory niche around this client marketing plan.  At the same time, I have provided college kids with business experience that they can’t get anywhere else in our industry. 

I use my teen-age kids to collect names of college kids they know who might be interested in an internship for a few weeks at my company. I bet your clients have college-age kids who would welcome the chance to talk to you about this internship opportunity.  

Our industry needs new advisors. Why not do your part to protect the future of our industry and build your business at the same time?

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