Joshua Coleman, founder and CEO of Momentum Advanced Planning and an independent advisor associated with the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, has a lot to say about the insurance industry, and most of it goes against societal stereotypes. Insurance is exciting, Coleman vows. Moreover, it’s an industry that rewards innovation and talent, and that is perfectly suited to millennials’ twin demands for flexibility and the chance to have an impact.
It’s a convincing argument that could go a long way toward solving the industry’s recruiting woes. We sat down with Coleman to find out how he got started, what opportunity he sees ahead and his No. 1 piece of advice for young advisors.
LHP: Why did you choose a career in insurance or financial services?
JC: I’m a self-proclaimed nerd and was drawn to insurance first because of its relation to math. After graduating from Villanova University with a degree in finance, specializing in financial mathematics, I wanted to do something with math and numbers that wasn’t teaching. I wanted do something in practice with numbers. So, finance and insurance were appealing.
Secondly, I recognized an opportunity within the aging workforce in the space. To me, it was just another basic math problem. There’s a ton of people that have to be taken care of, and after advisors retire, there are fewer and fewer new advisors joining the industry to fill that role. That presents a challenge and an opportunity and I was intrigued by that.
LHP: Describe what you do.
JC: I play quarterback, but not the type of quarterback you may be thinking of. I serve as an advanced planning quarterback for families and successful businesses. I do this through partnering with the advisors they’re already working with and acting as a financial engineer.
I supplement what the advisory team is already doing, bring potential new ideas to the table, and then play quarterback to build out any additions to the advisory team that may be necessary, and service the solutions put in place.
LHP: Share an achievement you are especially proud of.
JC: What makes me most proud is my first year in the insurance space. During the span of just 365 days, I was able to make a charitable impact of over nine figures for a very small group of our initial clients. When clients are happy and a large group of charities are benefitting, that’s a win to me and definitely something I’m proud to have been a part of.
LHP: What is the biggest challenge that you see in the industry or what is the one thing you would change?
JC: The biggest challenge in this industry is that we implement extremely sophisticated solutions that include a lot of moving parts. This challenge has become, in my mind, the biggest risk for the industry.