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Industry Spotlight > Advisors

Delegate the Jobs You Hate, Execs Tell Advisors

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What You Need to Know

  • Marty Bicknell of Mariner, Penny Phillips of Journey Strategic Wealth and Michael Durbin of Fidelity offered advice to new advisors.
  • Advisors should define what they see as success for themselves and not rely on others to do it for them.
  • Not every advisor starting a firm needs to feel like they must create a $1 billion business.

Advisors should try to focus on those parts of the business that they like the most and are the most skilled at, turning to other team members or outsourcing the parts of the job that they don’t like or know much about, industry executives said Friday during an online Riskalyze RIA Roundtable event.

“Don’t be a lone ranger” or attempt to be a “Jack of all trades” who does everything on your own, said Marty Bicknell, CEO and president of Mariner Wealth Advisors, offering advice to those just starting out in the advisory business.

Bicknell suggested that if you are running an advisory firm, build a team of advisors and others who specialize in those part parts of the business you don’t excel at. Either that “or find resources that can kind of plug the gaps so that you can really focus on your unique ability, and not get bogged down or frankly not try to give advice in an area that doesn’t fit that,” he said.

New advisors should also, from “very early on, stay rooted in your purpose in this business and your value as an advisor,” according to Penny Phillips, president and co-founder of Journey Strategic Wealth in Summit, New Jersey. Some advisors she talks to say they just want to focus on serving their clients and have no desire to make strategic decisions or negotiate deals, she said, adding: “You know what? That’s perfectly OK.”

What’s more, that can also improve diversity in the industry, she argued. “The more we give advisors the ability to make those decisions and to find success for themselves, the more we’re going to see females especially coming into the business and not feeling like they’ve ‘failed’ if they don’t build a billion-dollar practice,” she said.

Earlier, Phillips said she’d “like to see advisors make a decision about whether they want a lifestyle practice or enterprise.” Advisors should also “claim and define success for yourself as an advisor” and “don’t allow” others to define success for them, she suggested. And she suggested that advisors figure out what they want the next 5-10 years to look like for their businesses.

Another piece of advice to new advisors: Take a chance and “try something new” when it comes to fee models, including a subscription model, said Michael Durbin, head of Fidelity Institutional.

Pictured: Penny Phillips, president and co-founder of Journey Strategic Wealth