Michael Blumreich's first three months at BKD Wealth Advisors LLC in Springfield, Mo., have been a baptism by fire — and he wouldn't have it any other way.
He has already gained hands-on familiarity of a range of financial planning duties, from client conferences to 401(k) enrollments to back-office work.
“I've gotten to experience a good deal of the industry. The philosophy behind the training is, you've got to learn how to do it all,” he said. “The vast changes from one day or even one meeting to the next really keep me on my toes.”
Mr. Blumreich has been able to see what makes a wealth management firm tick by taking on the role of a client service associate.
“I've prepared a lot of the pre- and post-client-conference paperwork,” he said.
By filling in wherever he's needed, Mr. Blumreich feels as if he's learning more than he otherwise would with a more traditional role. “I'm learning by osmosis,” he said.
Furthermore, he's worked with a number of different BKD employees who perform different functions in different offices across the Midwest. At one point, he was brought into a project running different funding scenarios for a prospect that involved working with the national office, the firm's managing partner and his direct superior — who ended up being out of town the week leading up to the meeting.
“I thought it was buttoned up and ready to go, but when [my superior] was gone, the marching orders changed,” he said. “I ended up crunching a lot of numbers to help alter the presentation.”
While Mr. Blumreich emphatically endorses his experience, saying it has surpassed ex-pectations, he has had some trouble adapting to life as the “freshman” of the office.
“I went from running a student financial counseling office to the bottom of the totem pole,” he said. “Asking a lot of questions helped break down the ego I'd built up, but it's more about getting the job done and getting it done right.”
For all the positives of Mr. Blumreich's experience in his young career, there is one aspect of wealth management that he finds burdensome.
“Compliance is rough,” he said. “If a client signs a document in multiple locations and their signatures look slightly different, the document might get kicked back.”