Today, clients’ needs are more complex than in any time in history. We have an aging population of baby boomers who are living longer due to improved medical advances. This population faces the fear of outliving their incomes. We have couples getting married later in life and facing college expenses for their children at the same time they are planning to retire. There is the blended family as well as second and third marriages with new children in addition to children from prior marriages. There are civil unions with same-sex couples and the sandwich generation taking care of their young children and aging parents simultaneously.
Clearly, financial planning has become very challenging. This is not taking into account taxation, estate issues, gifting, and other planning situations, not to mention the ever-evolving regulatory environment, that add to the complexity. With these changes in demographics, needs and regulation, it is more difficult to find one advisor that can provide holistic solutions and the breadth of knowledge and expertise to address all the client’s concerns. This has created the opportunity for a team approach in the financial profession, providing clients a team of professionals with different areas of specialization to provide the best solution.
The financial services recruiting process can discourage women from entering this career because they may fear commissions, long hours, and the tedious job of building a book of business through personal contacts. Women may also feel nervous that they will not have flexibility for work and life balance. In addition, building a book of business and approaching friends and family can be intimidating to some women, especially when they may lack the confidence and the knowledge to do the right thing for them when they first start out. There can be a risk of straining relationships.
Part of this happens because many managers are still recruiting to an antiquated system that is not sustainable. Cold calling has become increasingly challenging with the use of cell phones versus landlines, Do Not Call lists and caller ID. In addition, the business has become more of a relationship practice built on networking, referrals, and a focus on target markets that are more effective and sustainable for building a healthy practice. Although the business is entrepreneurial, it is not measured by the number of hours you are in the office but more on the discipline of doing the daily tasks that will generate clients and service the existing ones.