New advisers find satisfaction

All feel lucky to be interacting with clients early on in careers

By Liz Skinner

Dec 15, 2013 @ 12:01 am (Updated 9:46 am) EST

The four young professionals whom InvestmentNews is tracking through their first year in the financial advice business appreciate how fortunate they are to be interacting with clients.

The four function in different roles at their firms, but each is helping people in some way secure a better financial future, and that is adding a level of job satisfaction that has eluded some of their friends who also have gone to financial planning school.

Each new financial adviser in recent months spoke to other graduates from their programs who are struggling with having to find their own clients or having to sell particular products — or complain of being assigned back-office tasks that don't match their qualifications.

One friend already left a position at a brokerage firm and landed at a bank. Another is working at a large custodian and is unclear where his career is headed.

“I am exposed to a lot more complex situations than many other people,” said Clark Harris, one of the four next-generation advisers interviewed in this third installment of InvestmentNews' Year 1 series.

The quarterly installments began June 10, with an update Sept. 29.

This four-part series initially introduced six new financial planning graduates; however, two are no longer part of the feature.

Wende Witthuhn, a Kansas State University graduate, left her role with Bluestem Financial Advisors in Champaign, Ill., after a couple months to take a job at a farm lending firm in her home state of Kansas.

Madison Ernst, a financial analyst at The Ayco Co. in Atlanta, wasn't allowed to continue in the yearlong series after the firm's compliance department rejected her participation.

Stories of the other advisers begin on Page 53.

lskinner@investmentnews.com Twitter: @skinnerliz