To train or not to train? That is the question — unless you happen to be a financial advisor; then you have no choice. Training is as much a part of an advisor’s job as deciphering P/E ratios and counting commissions.
Once you choose the career path of financial advisor, the training begins. You may recall the good old days when you trained to take the Series 7 exam. You may also remember the endless hours of sales training you endured, simply for the privilege of getting to make a gazillion cold calls.
Of course, let’s not forget to mention all the different types of training you go through during a typical year. There’s the invaluable training to maintain all your securities licenses. If you’re lucky, you can be “trained” while eating a delicious lunch provided by your friendly neighborhood wholesaler. If you’re unlucky, you may have to serve time in a Sylvan Learning Center, chained to a 1980s computer terminal. (Tip: Pick “C” or the longest answer.)
And then there are the broker/dealers who are constantly proving their worth by rolling out new software and other technology at breakneck speeds. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to try to stay on top of it all. Many advisors outsource this type of training to their branch office assistants. The only problem with this strategy is that you can never fire this person for fear of having to open an account on your own.
Motivational training is yet another type of training many firms provide. One of my earliest memories of this is from the late 1980s, as I was beginning my first wholesaling job. Our sales manager locked 12 wholesalers in a windowless hotel meeting room and rolled out an AV cart with a television and a VCR. For the next two days, we watched videos of a motivational sales trainer named W. Steven Brown. Did I happen to mention that the sales manager left the room once the video started and didn’t come back until the end of the second day?