Financial wellness sector offers new route for young advisers

Ideal way to gain experience working with clients

Jan 6, 2014 @ 11:48 am

By Liz Skinner

The growing financial wellness industry may offer young advisers who aren't interested in selling financial products — or are too fresh-faced to encourage wealthy clients to hand over their nest egg just yet — an ideal place to begin a professional career.

This financial sector, which focuses on providing financial education rather than investment recommendations or comprehensive financial planning, is expanding as American companies add financial wellness programs to benefit packages to help a workforce that nationally exhibits little financial literacy.

Last year, 19% of human resource directors surveyed said their wellness initiatives included a financial component, an increase of 2 percentage points from 2012, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Another study last year by Aon Hewitt found 80% of employers plan to implement or boost their existing financial wellness programs.

These numbers suggest the industry will need more financial professionals to meet the growing demand, and financial planning students who shun the wirehouse model based on asset attraction and sales could be great candidates.

Financial wellness providers charge employers for offering education, basic planning services and technological resources to employees, instead of charging the clients they advise directly.

This sector of the industry offers young financial professionals valuable experience interacting with people about their financial problems, a personal skill many advisory firm owners say they find lacking in the candidates whom they interview fresh out of financial planning school.

For that reason, the financial wellness sector could be a great recruiting target for independent financial advisers looking to bulk up their staffs.

In fact, two young planners InvestmentNews is tracking through their first year on the job, Michael Blumreich and Matt Romeo are essentially providing financial wellness services through the retirement units of their adviser employers, and both have embraced the opportunity to work with clients.

The financial wellness industry could even be a landing spot for more seasoned advisers seeking to abandon the sales pressure and compliance burdens of the brokerage and advisory businesses.

Liz Davidson, chief executive of financial education provider Financial Finesse, said jobs in the financial education market are paying better than they used to as demand for talent increases.

In addition to firms like The Ayco Co., a division of Goldman Sachs Co., and PriceWaterhouseCooper's employee financial education practice, Financial Finesse is competing for knowledgeable professionals with online planners like LearnVest Inc., Ms. Davidson said.

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video

Events

Why integration is essential (and how it works)

Integration has been one of the biggest fintech themes in 2017. But why (and how) does this work? Matt Brown of CAIS and Sean Mullen of Advice Period explain.

Video Spotlight

Help Clients Be Prepared, Not Surprised

Sponsored by Prudential

Recommended Video

Path to growth

Latest news & opinion

Broker, retirement groups make last-minute pleas to change tax legislation

Pass-through provisions are target of groups representing employee-model brokerage firms, as well as retirement plan advisers.

House and Senate reach tentative compromise for tax overhaul

Lawmakers still need to get a cost analysis of their agreement, so it's not yet definite, according to a source.

Advisers' biggest fears for 2018

What keeps advisers up at night.

One adviser's story of losing his son to the opioid epidemic

John W. Brower, president and CEO of JW Brower & Associates, shares the story behind his son's death from a heroin overdose and how it inspired him to help others break the cycle of addiction.

Tax reform will boost food, chemicals, rail stocks. Technology? Not so much

Conagra and Berkshire Hathaway are two stocks that should benefit most from changes in the tax code.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print