Why I Don’t Want to be a Financial Advisor

Brent Pittman —  05/01/2012

I almost joined the ranks of suits.

Recently I interviewed for a position as a financial advisor with a major company. I’ve thought about becoming a financial advisor, but in the end the position wasn’t a good fit for me.

Reasons Why It Would be Cool to be a Financial Advisor (C.F.P)

  • Training– I would get to learn a ton about investments, financial planning, get to take classes and tests (I’m a nerd so this is cool to me.), and have hands on training.
  • Unlimited Income-  There are no income limits, so I could earn 6 figues in 5-10 years with a little….er..loads of work.
  • Prestige and Credibility- It is a profession and respected by many due to the training and certifications required. When a CFP speaks, people usually listen.

Why I Don’t Want to Be a Financial Advisor

There are a number of reasons why it’s not a good fit for now (or perhaps not the right company).

1. I was told that I’d have to basically shut down my blog, stop tweeting, Facebook, and other social media. Everything must go through compliance and they don’t allow much to get through. LinkIn profiles even have be approved. Why? FINRA social media guidelines (<–read if you want see how laughable and out of touch the rules are), fear of lawsuits, and misunderstanding in how the new generation uses technology. Seriously if you don’t have a personal web presence, I’m not going to hire you for anything. Example:

“Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn usually have static and interactive content. Static content like a profile, background or wall information is usually considered an “advertisement.” … As with all advertisements and sales literature as defined, a registered principal for the firm must approve, prior to use, all static content.”- FINRA.org

Read about Jeff Rose, a financial advisor and blogger who gave up $36,000 a year with his old firm to start his own practice to relieve the pressure from FINRA.

2. The hiring manager explained that I would need to make about 200 phone calls (cold/warm) a week. I don’t mind work (my 1st jobs list), but I am an introvert and that many phone calls a week for a sustained time period would make me go insane and ineffective at some point.

3. I want to help people with their money and not have to focus 150% on sales for 5 years until I have a referral base. This doesn’t seem like a good fit for the lifestyle I’m trying to build at the point in life. I want to be an advisor, not a salesperson.

These was my experience interviewing for a financial advisor postion. Maybe I would enjoy a paraplanning  position that allowed me to focus on the work and not about selling, as long as I can still write.

If  you are you a Financial Advisor or Financial Planner: 1) How did you become one and 2) How do you handle the social media restrictions? 

Photo Credit (Voxphoto)

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Brent Pittman

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.
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  • I totally get your reasoning about introverts being placed under the gun to make 200+ calls.

    My head hurts just thinking about it. Great post!

    • At some point I’d like to qualify to take the CFP and maybe even take it, but just not pay to get licensed.

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  • Thanks for sharing. What was your path to RIA-did you write article about it yet? 

  • I looked into being a financial planner several years ago and gave up that idea for similar reasons (though it was before I was into blogging or social media profiles). I was primarily turned off by the cold calling and sales approach.

    I’ve spoken to Jeff multiple times about his decision and he has stated time and again he is glad he did it. And I don’t blame him. The compliance issues are too much to be able to run a successful blog.

    • Ryan, 
      Thanks for commenting and I think your blog The Military Wallet is top notch. The great thing about having a blog is the freedom of speech, thought, and ability to write what your readers really need to hear in a voice they can understand. With legal looking over your shoulder, that would be tough to do. 

  • Wow, I doubt I’ve made 200 phone calls over the past 3 years! I think I could enjoy this work if by waving a magic wand I could have a full slate of clients. But I’d hate, and would be bad at, the salesmanship required to get clients.

    And yes, the social media restrictions would be hard to swallow. Feels to me like it’s all about controlling the brand.

  • Wow. They have a pretty odd definition of “static content.” Good for Jeff to give that up to make things work for him.
    I couldn’t do 150+ calls a week either.

    • The amount of calls and social media were deal breakers for me.