Anyone who thinks they have busy days should listen to Chris Pollard's tale.
This Regent Wealth Management Group financial adviser spent a year activated in the Army National Guard as a budget analyst by day — while serving his 100 advisory clients at night and over the weekends.
The former Army infantry platoon leader in Iraq and West Point graduate also was pursuing a master's in business administration during this period, between mid-2011 and mid-2012. And he and his wife have two sons, who were 3 and 5 at the time.
“It was one of the crazier times in my life,” said Mr. Pollard, who is 32. “I wouldn't recommend it.”
Despite the long hours and time away from his practice, he did not lose any clients, he said. He was an adviser with First Command Financial Services at that time, and he had assistants who could help with paperwork and other tasks that were difficult to do remotely. Those assistants and some technology that allowed him to work from anywhere made it possible for him to maintain his practice, he said.
While the rest of his unit was in Afghanistan, he spent most of the time in either Atlanta or at Fort Benning, Ga. He ended his time in the National Guard after his year-long activation.
He joined Regent Wealth late last year because he wanted to be part of a fee-only firm, and he moved his family from Georgia to Connecticut, where Regent Wealth is based. Mr. Pollard doesn't ever plan to join back up with the National Guard, but said any adviser who knows they could be deployed should prepare their practice for such an event.
“Make it a priority to have someone who works with you maintain a relationship with clients in case you get called up for a year, or even a month or two,” he advised.
Do you know any other financial advisers who have had to figure out how to run their advisory practices while being deployed? I would appreciate hearing about anyone else who has faced such a situation for an upcoming cover story I'm working on for InvestmentNews. Let me know.