5 Rookie Mistakes Financial Advisors Make & How to Avoid Them

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You’re just starting your financial advisor career and you're learning and growing everyday. It probably feels like some days you’re doing all the right things and others you’re caught spinning your wheels. I’ve been here and I want to help you. From a senior advisor to you: here’s five rookie mistakes to avoid.

Trying to get Anyone and Everyone as a Client

Don’t live in scarcity. Prospects can feel when you’re desperate for their business and frankly, it’s a turn off. Choose what clients you want to work with, (as far as net worth goes) and then screen them to see if you're both a good fit together. I use the three P's. Does the client participate in the initial planning process with honesty? Does the client's personality work well with mine? Is this relationship mutually profitable for both of us? For more on screening your clients check out “3 Reasons You Should Give Your Clients Personality Tests.”

Not Taking Time for Yourself

Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation with wellness and overall job performance. I'm walking proof that focusing on your health and lifestyle changes everything about your life. I was a pop and french fry addict years ago. After I got sick and ended up in the hospital, I started to make some changes. Now 14 years later, I'm healthier, happier, and clearer than I've ever been and I'm still a passionate health and fitness nerd. Living a healthy lifestyle provides higher energy levels, better focus, brain clarity, and it exudes confidence and positive energy. From a clients perspective, health is big topic of conversation. I can't tell you how many times I've been a resource to my clients who want to make lifestyle changes. Taking care of yourself is a win, win for everyone. 

Not Taking the Time to Continue Learning

Learning to learn and increasing the speed at which you learn significantly increases your chances of success. And I’m not talking about reading and digesting market news everyday; what I’m speaking of is learning about yourself, relationships, human behavior, human biases, psychology and the soft sciences that are neglected within our industry. Find a mentor to help guide you through your career as a financial advisor. It’s more beneficial to learn from someone else’s mistakes than make the mistakes yourself. Be curious, love knowledge, and grow thirsty for more. For more check out “3 ways to scale your business and increase productivity.”

Timing and Chasing the Market for your Clients

I know as a financial planner it would seem that you need to know everything about the market and have provide opinions on what it’s going to do in the near future, just in case a client asks. I hope this comes as a relief to you: you do not have to predict the future. It is not your job to be a fortune teller. Your job is to be a financial care-giver. The only aspects of the market we can control is our own fears and emotions and our clients’ fears and emotions. It’s our job to care for our clients’ well-being. Turn off the media noise and start focusing on aspects of your job that you can influence and control. Check out the book “The Behavioral Investment Counselor,” by Nick Murray. 

Not having an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Financial advisors should begin to work towards becoming business operators. You may have multiple security licenses, and as scary as it sounds, I hope your brave enough to give those up one day. Transitioning from a broker, to fee-based, and eventually to fee-only is a way to ensure that your career lives. When you’re a broker you’re essentially a salesman. You don’t sit on the same side of the table as your clients and you’re not making reoccurring revenue. Every January your commissions start over, the sales culture exemplifies with sales awards, and you’re another product pusher instead of a financial care-giver. Instead of operating in an elegant business model you’re stuck on the gerbil wheel. Having an entrepreneurial mindset and operating your own business allows you to live a much freer lifestyle than being stuck under someone’s thumb with rules and restrictions. Be an entrepreneur, be a business owner, and operate in a way that fits you best.

If you found this article helpful check out “3 Reasons you should stop timing the market for your clients.”

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