By Young Advisor
What’s the point any more?…
I’m a young advisor with only 4 years experience in the financial industry. But I must say that I’m losing interest and confidence in this business. It all started for me with Freedom 55. I left that stink hole and was hired by TD Waterhouse. I parted from Waterhouse and began working at the bank. What do they all have in common? SALES! And this, in my opinion, is a BIG problem in this industry.
Freedom 55 was a huge eye opener for me. I developed an interest in finance and met someone there, for what I thought was information only, and next thing you know this guy is offering me a job. As long as you’re a good talker, they’ll hire anyone off the street…literally.
I must emphasize that I had absolutely no background in finance…and I mean NOTHING!! They offered me courses, fully paid (LLQP and IFIC), which encouraged my decision. After six weeks of intense studying, I was finally appointed the honorable title of “Financial Advisor or Planner or London Life’s Monkey Boy”…whatever works, but I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I was just legally able to sell investment products. And if you need to pay the bills, it becomes a challenge to put the client’s interest first.
TD Waterhouse was a much better experience. If you really want to learn about the stock market, a discount brokerage is the way to go. I learnt so much there and met many intelligent people who were passionate about the market. But once again, the company had mandatory sales goals, which they constantly pushed on you. The fact that it was a call centre wasn’t too appealing for me, either. I got my experience, completed my Canadian Securities Course exam and needed to move on.
“In banks we trust.” These guys are all about sales. Even the tellers are out to get you. Nobody had much knowledge of investments or the markets. Because I came from Waterhouse, they looked at me as though I was a god. They pay you peanuts and set high sales goals for your absolute pleasure.
They put fake dollar values on the products they sell. Lending was the highest paying product, such as mortgages or home equity lines of credit. Every sales person would brag about the size of credit they sold, which in turn gave them huge “fake” sales dollars towards their goal (while earning the same peanut salary, go figure).
Every action was for their benefit. There is no compensation for doing what’s in the best interest of the client. Just escorting them to the safety deposit box was a waste of time. And there is constant annoying pressure from management to make those sales.
By the way, all the investment decisions are based on what the computer says. And the computer is not taking into account our current economic crisis.
Don’t get me wrong, I have met some great advisors. I just think they’re harder to find. As long as commissions and sales goals are in the picture, the industry becomes confused about ethical practice. And in return, trust is more difficult to establish. I can’t even find much reason for myself to keep going. I’ve lost the passion.
So here I am today, I left the bank and I’m trying it out on my own. It’s difficult to begin a new book of business. Especially with a young face like mine. And I couldn’t charge a “fee for service” with my limited years of experience. But I genuinely enjoy educating my clients without the pressure of sales.
I’ve always felt awkward about chasing clients for their money. I can’t seem to accept it. I fully understand the importance of sales in any successful business, but I think managing people’s money is a very sensitive subject. There’s a big difference between selling a person shoes and selling the idea for them to give you all their life savings.
I truly love this business; I just don’t feel comfortable in it. I even started the PFP course with the intention to get my CFP. I just don’t see the point any more.
Cory’s Chart Corner
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