Hectic is the new normal

Dec 15, 2013 @ 12:01 am

By Liz Skinner

Matt Romeo has been helping his firm's financial advisers who work on retirement plans with a rush of year-end activity.

The graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University said that many of Gordon Asset Management's clients want 401(k) and other retirement plans in place by the start of next year. That has required Mr. Romeo to shift some of his focus away from investment management for high-net-worth clients.

“I'm trying to get used to how hectic it is,” he said. “It's a great opportunity to learn.”

Mr. Romeo, 23, said that he has been surprised by the lack of general financial knowledge exhibited by plan participants. They need much more education than he expected, and he wishes financial instruction were a more integral part of the high school curriculum.

It has been great to learn from the advisers how to approach different retirement plan participants and how to talk to them about these subjects, Mr. Romeo said.

“It's a challenge to take something we understand so intuitively, and break it down and make it simple for the everyday person to understand,” he said.

Six months into his two-year apprenticeship, Mr. Romeo is e-mailing or talking to clients over the phone almost daily. He is responsible for following up with clients on different recommendations, finalizing paperwork for new accounts, and helping clients transfer funds and view account information online.

CFP EXAMS

Mr. Romeo plans to take the certified financial planner exams in June. After that, he is contemplating whether to try for the chartered alternative investment analyst designation or possibly the chartered financial analyst credential.

Over Thanksgiving, Mr. Romeo discovered that holidays can be busy for advisory firms because that is when some clients finally have free time to think about their lives and investments, and make decisions that they have been putting off.

Clients e-mailed him throughout the Thanksgiving holiday and following weekend, an experience that made him realize that advisers always need to be available to clients if they want to do well, he said.

“You really have to live it and always be connected,” Mr. Romeo said.

Certainly, the advisers of Durham, N.C.-based Gordon Asset Management lead by example.

Mr. Romeo said that he commonly receives 5:30 a.m. e-mails from advisers at the firm, while others send notes at midnight sharing articles or links to sites with worthwhile industry news.

“I don't know when these guys sleep,” Mr. Romeo said.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video

Events

Pershing's Crowley: The case for business transformation

Your practice is changing rapidly. What worked five years ago might not work for the next five years. Pershing's Jim Crowley has some solutions as your business evolves.

Video Spotlight

Will It Last As Long As Your Clients Do?

Sponsored by Prudential

Video Spotlight

The Catalyst

Sponsored by Pershing

Latest news & opinion

Interns will take on several roles at advisory firms this summer

College students are helping with client prep, firm visioning and long-term projects, among other duties.

10 funds with largest 3-year outflows

Even well-managed funds that have beaten the S&P 500’s 10.1% average annual gain have watched investors flee.

Wirehouse training programs are back

At one time, major brokerage houses ran large, expensive training programs for thousands of young brokers, and now it looks as if they are about to return to that model.

New military pension rules need financial advisers to step up and serve

Matching defined contribution plan expected to see more money, more need for sound advice.

Brian Block's $4 million bonus was tied to a key metric at ARCP

Prosecution rests case in fraud trial against CFO of American Realty Capital Properties.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print