The career of a financial services professional is, by far, the best job in the world. This is particularly true for investment professionals and wealth managers. We have the unique opportunity to build our own dreams, rather than helping other companies and business owners build theirs. We are directly in control of our success or failure. Best of all, the only possible way we can achieve long-term success is if our clients succeed.
Think about that for a minute. What could be better than building a career and business that grows and prospers by helping others build a better and brighter financial future?
Only a Tiny Minority Succeed
If financial professionals begin their career by working hard and smart – and maintain a primary focus on the best interest of their clients – their probabilities of success are significantly enhanced. However, building a successful financial services practice is one of the most difficult things to accomplish.
Depending on which surveys you look at, approximately 80% of insurance agents and financial advisors are not in the business after two years. Clearly that is an alarming and disturbing statistic, so I hope in some way this article helps my fellow colleagues stay the course and build an incredibly rewarding career.
Are You an Insurance Agent or Investment Professional?
In the beginning stages of building a financial services career, there is a wide array of financial and insurance products from which to learn, market, sell, and generate revenue.
For example, if you want to build an insurance practice, there are lots of insurance products to build a business from, such as:
- Life insurance
- Disability insurance
- Long-term care insurance
- Car and Home insurance
- Health insurance
- Group insurance
- Business owner insurance
- Final Expense insurance
Similarly, if your plan is to build a successful investment or wealth management practice, there are many options to choose from, such as:
- College savings plans
- Roth, Traditional, SEP, and Rollover IRA’s
- Advisor directed investing
- Third-party investing
- Investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and more
- Managed and RIA accounts
- Fixed and Variable Annuities
- 401(k)’s, SEP IRA’s, and Simple IRA’s
- Foundations and Endowments
Becoming a Successful Investment Professional
Over the years I have come across very few financial professionals who have achieved the necessary background, experience, training, skills, and passion to become financial experts capable of specializing in both insurance and investing.
Insurance and investments are two very different careers, and both are filled with lots of sophisticated and complicated products. Furthermore, each of these careers requires a very different and unique skillset, as well as years of training and experience.
In this article I would like to focus on some helpful concepts and tips for building a successful investment and wealth management practice.
Time, Skills, Inclination
Do you really have the heart and passion to manage money? One of the unspoken truths about successful investing is that you have to love this kind of business. In other words, investors and investment professionals must have an authentic passion for investing, and a strong desire to put in the necessary time, effort, and energy.
One of the questions I love to ask is; “Every day when you wake up, are you eager and excited – and ready, willing, and able – to put forth a full-time and dedicated effort to succeed in one of the most competitive marketplaces?”
Do You Have What it Takes?
All of my life I have been an avid sports fan. I have played just about every sport, and love to watch them too. But for whatever reasons, I have never liked soccer. I have never made a conscious decision to set aside my personal time and watch or play soccer.
Having said that, I fully understand and accept the fact that I don’t have what it takes to compete with the top soccer players. And quite frankly, I don’t have the desire to put in the time to train, work hard, and attempt to become a soccer star. It’s just not in the cards, and I simply don’t have what it takes.
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