Look for the next-gen candidate who interviews you: Expert

Young advisers need to demonstrate 'fire in the belly'

Nov 7, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

By Liz Skinner

Successful placement of a young professional in the financial advice business requires that both the firm and the candidate thoroughly interview each other, a panel of experts said during an InvestmentNews virtual career fair aimed at next-generation advisers.

Financial advisers should look for planning candidates who display maximum teachability and tenacity, said Derek Klock, associate professor of practice at Virginia Polytechnic University and State University.

“The students that do the best are likable and coachable, and they have a passion in their belly for this work,” Mr. Klock said.

Firms hiring need to recognize that financial planning program graduates have a lot of knowledge but need positions that help them develop their professional business skills, he said.

The third annual online career fair aimed at next-gen advisers attracted about 1,400 registrants. InvestmentNews sponsors the unique event to help connect young professionals and advisory firms that are hiring.

There is a national shortage of young advisers, as only about 5% of advisers are under age 30, according to Cetera Financial Group.

Candidates should be asking companies about how they will be compensated and figure out for themselves if they personally can tolerate the risk of roles that don't guarantee a certain income, said Lehua Stonebraker, TD Ameritrade's talent acquisition and strategy manager.

Young professionals today regularly enter the advice profession as a paraplanner, a role that typically pays about $50,000 to $71,000 a year based on their experience and geography, according to the most recent InvestmentNews adviser compensation study. About 80% to 90% of that is salary and the rest is incentive based compensation.

Jeff Vivacqua, Cambridge Investment Research's executive vice president, said candidates need to question advisory firm leaders about how they intend to build the business and whether they see value in retaining talent.

“You need to be interviewing the founder or owner just as much as they are interviewing you about joining their business,” he said.

More insight: 3 biggest concerns of NextGen advisers

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