Up-and-coming advisor explains how his firm is well positioned to grow
As with any millennial, there’s been a few growing pains. But Samuel Waxman and his colleagues at Millennial Financial Group have been honing their approach and working out how they, as young advisors, can best serve other young professionals.
After streamlining their office, they recently signed a deal to offer a robo-advisor platform and Waxman, 30, who co-founded the firm when he was just 26, believes they are well positioned to capitalise on changes in the industry.
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He said: “I just think we are approaching a point, and it’s been a long time coming and I think it’s going to boil over soon, when it’s either change or get out.
“Everyone’s been able to stay stable for a long time, but with more technology being put in place and compliance getting harder and harder, it is going to force a lot people out of the business.”
He added: “A lot of people at the top don’t like change, and there’s still a demographic where they don’t have to.”
Millennial Financial Group was borne out of Waxman and a friend’s belief that with the average age of an advisor then 58 – he says it’s now 61 - young people do not want to go to someone who spends half the year on a golf course in Florida for advice.
Waxman, who specialises in life insurance, and his colleagues, who all went to high school and university together, quickly saw a gap in the market and set about starting the business.
However, dealing with substandard advisors plus the risk of having a large part-time staff with increasingly tough industry compliance led to a rethink and a focus on quality over quantity. They now have four advisors, three mortgage brokers and an office manager under the brand.
Waxman said: “We learnt pretty quickly that there were a lot of people in it just for the bottom line, not necessarily to do the best thing for their clients and that’s not the kind of people we want to attract.
“I guess you could say we learnt the hard way because one of the first advisors we ever signed we ended up getting rid of the next day when she came and asked us for more money within 24 hours. So we said, we appreciate that you want to make a living but there’s other places you can do this and we are not in it for that.
“My reaction was that you are just not the kind of person we want to work with. If you are in it for the extra five points, you’re not in it for the long run.”
Targeting young professionals as a client base has its own challenges, though, says Waxman.
He said: “When you’re working with young people, a lot of them think they are invincible so it’s a lot harder to understand life insurance when you think you are invincible. So it’s making them understand there are several different services, products out there so can see what is important for them at that current time.
“And then on the other hand, it’s cost. The people who do see the need for it don’t want to spend money on it. So it’s just a case of stressing the importance of what they are spending the money on; that it’s not just spending money, you are actually getting something out of it.”