As the average age of a financial advisor remains 50-something and rising, along with it is a rising need to not only attract and develop the next generation of financial advisors, but actually begin to transition clients to them. However, while it’s difficult enough for advisory firms to simply recruit next-generation talent at the early stages of their careers, it can seem even more challenging to transition existing clients to them. Nonetheless, advisory firms are going to have to tackle these transitions if they want to continue to grow and, ultimately, to retain clients as their founders and experienced advisors retire.
Yet while there’s been a lot of discussion from the senior advisor’s perspective about how best to manage this process of transitioning clients, remarkably little has been written from the viewpoint of the up-and-coming advisor about how best to prepare and position themselves for a successful transition. Accordingly, in this guest post, Jack Rabuck from West Coast Financial recounts his career path so far, from starting out as an entry-level analyst fresh out of college, to becoming the de facto point of contact for newer clients, and then gradually growing into a lead advisor role with 65 existing clients and $165M of AUM in just five years by the age of 27… and the steps he took to ensure the transition would be successful.
Because the reality is that there is a lot that paraplanners and associate advisors can do to better prepare themselves for success, by trying to gain more of their own knowledge, exposure, and experience. From actively seeking out opportunities to sit in on meetings with as many different advisors as possible, to paying close attention to how they actually manage meetings themselves, becoming an expert in highly specific topic (effectively creating a micro-specialization for themselves), focusing on learning as much as possible, and being brutally honest with oneself about areas for needed improvement… the more the new advisor positions themselves for success, the more duties and responsibilities that can be taken on in a relatively short period of time.
Of course, there will often still be challenges, and Jack shares some of his own challenges experienced and the key lessons learned along the way, that any advisor can seek to apply to advance their own career!