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Meet some of the women who took the next step to become a financial advisor and have never looked back.
The very idea of changing careers can be extremely exciting and, yes, a little bit daunting. But as a professional, and particularly as a woman, you may be more equipped than you realize to launch a second, rewarding career as a financial advisor.
Women investors are an increasingly powerful force. In 2015, women passed the halfway mark for controlled personal wealth in the United States: approximately 51% – or $14 trillion – according to Bank of Montreal's Wealth Institute, a figure expected to reach $22 trillion by 2020. Additionally, women are the primary breadwinners in 40% of U.S. households, and women-owned businesses account for 30% of all privately owned enterprises.
Women want to work with women. While many women work with male financial advisors, some – specifically divorcees and widows, according to a 2014 Pershing study – prefer to work with someone with a similar perspective or background. Seventy percent of women investors who responded to a 2013 Insured Retirement Institute survey said they would prefer to work with a woman advisor, yet only 15% of financial advisors in the United States are women. That’s a statistic you can help change – and a need you can help satisfy.
Job flexibility means established financial advisors have time to strike – and maintain – a healthy work-life balance. Being a financial advisor can be a 9-to-5 job, but it doesn’t have to be. As an established financial advisor, you can set your hours based on the needs of your clients, your family and your own preference, all while making a change in other people’s lives.
Financial advisors have powerful earning potential. Because advisor compensation is typically tied to performance, earning potential is virtually limitless. Raymond James is invested in the success of women advisors and offers training opportunities and generous transition assistance to set you up for success.
Characteristics typically associated with women tend to make them better investors and more holistic advisors. Several studies have shown that traits like conservatism, risk aversion and patience often lead women to outperform men as investors. Those same characteristics can also make them effective financial advisors. Strong listening and communication skills, empathy and objectivity tend to result in a more holistic planning approach and more confident clients.
Some common myths about this business are just that. Many believe financial services is all about buying and selling stocks and meeting sales quotas, but financial planners often focus exclusively on offering unbiased advice to support clients’ well-being and specific goals. The ability to listen and a genuine desire to help others can beat industry experience, and the technology available to advisors can make the mathematics more than manageable when guiding clients through the market ups and downs.
Success meant working like crazy for the first few years and asking a lot of questions, both of my clients and other advisors. But it was well worth it. I know now that it's not just about investing. It’s about inspiring trust, confidence and competence.
Laura Steckler, CFP®, CDFA®, CLTC, Steckler Wealth Management Group of Raymond James
I was good with numbers, with problem-solving, with people ... and I knew I wanted to run my own business. But didn’t know what I could do. Then I found this industry and knew this was it. I hadn’t known it existed.
Sybil Verch, Senior Vice President and National Director of Wealth Management, Raymond James Limited
This industry plays to women’s strengths – listening, asking questions, probing, getting information, figuring out a strategic plan to help families or individuals accomplish their goals. The analytical and math skills are certainly helpful to have, but relationship skills are paramount.
Sacha Millstone, Senior Vice President, Investments and Financial Advisor, The Millstone Evans Group of Raymond James
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.
It’s never been easier to learn more about what it takes to be a financial advisor. Just reach out to explore the training and support you can expect at Raymond James. We’re waiting to hear from you.