Reg Jackson is the vice president and a senior investment advisor at JDRM Wealth Management. Approaching his twentieth year in the industry, Jackson has been reflecting on how the business has changed: the Internet, CRM regulation changes and the rise of the team are the main ones, but demographic has altered too.
“The advisor channel is getting older with the average age of advisors creeping higher over the past number of years.”
Currently the average advisor is in their late fifties and has grown along with his or her clients over the years. Continuous changes to regulation and systems could be putting younger people off the profession.
Yet another change, the up-coming full-implementation of CRM2, could have something to do with this. The changes are supposed to invite greater transparency for investors in the fees they pay for financial advice but have been met with a lot of criticism within the field. Many believe that payment regulations will discourage some from using an advisor and could mean that others won’t be able to afford the services they have previously enjoyed.
Jackson says it is important to move with the times though.
“To better service clients, a good planner must stay in touch with other financial services professionals to keep up with changes and new ideas and concepts – including those from the legal and accounting communities.”
Jackson says that while his team fully embraces transparency of fees and already provides full performance reviews, the industry as a whole “is not ready and as these changes are implemented there will certainly be significant disruptions.”
The negative response from some in the industry could make it an unattractive one to enter right now.
“Bottom line is that it remains difficult to attract and retain younger talent at a time when new regulations may push more advisors out. The JMRD Team is in growth mode and finding new talent to strengthen our team remains a big issue.”
Team seems to be a key word in the industry at the moment with many advisors also believing that operating alone is no longer as lucrative. It is key to have more resources and a fully functioning support staff around you.
“I regularly comment on the importance of being on a team and what makes me a good advisor is that I am also a good team member and recognize that one person is unable to be an expert in all the areas required to provide above average service to clients.”
This is another change to the industry and Jackson says 20 years ago things were a lot different.
“Information was a competitive advantage and relationship building was key for business development and ultimate success. These were the days of the ‘stock broker’ and their ‘assistant’ model. Teams were in their infancy and the majority of business was transactional in nature.”