Fluctuating markets, discussions of Social Security shortfalls, and health care constantly under pressure is leading to people feeling a great deal of uncertainty. This uncertainty clients are feeling is trickling up to advisors – and it shows.

One thing I notice on my travels is that many advisors are feeling and looking burnt out. For the last decade, a lot of advisors have ridden high on performance, but now with so many uncertainties in the market and industry, advisors are feeling the pressure. The next two years are likely to be more stressful for advisors than previous years as economic indicators are pointing to an economic slowdown or market pullback.

We often talk about financial advisors as if they’re immune to workplace challenges and common world issues. But advisors are employees, business owners, and in need of a lot of the general workplace best practices that all of America needs.

Stressing Numbers

Last year, a Gallup poll showed that roughly 23 percent of employees surveyed felt burnt out “very often” or “always,” and another 44 percent stated that they were burnt out at work “sometimes.” The leading cause: work, by a large margin.

A survey by the American Institute of Stress showed that 46 percent of Americans are stressed because of workload and another 20 percent are stressed trying to balance work and personal lives.

Employees who feel burnt out at work can experience negative implications in their personal life and can drag down the production and effectiveness of a company if not treated. It’s a vicious cycle. The same Gallup poll showed those who are burnt out at work are 63 percent more likely to take a sick day, 2.6 times as likely to leave their current employer and 13 percent less confident in their performance.

Four of the five factors Gallup lists as most correlated burnout are issues that I see prevalent with advisors: too much work on their plate, lack of clarity of role, unreasonable time pressures and a lack of support at work. And if you’re running your own practice and trying to do everything by yourself – acting as CFO, CEO, CMO, CTO, HR and advisor – these issues are sure to pop up.

Taking Back Control of Your (Work) Life

So how can you as an advisor take control of your situation? The first thing to do is to look at your situation and see if you’re feeling burnt out. If so, try to identify the reason. Is it external or internal? Is it driven by work? Are you unhappy with growth or market performance? Next, it’s time to strategize.

If your stress is work driven and you’re feeling too much pressure to do all the things your business requires, consider outsourcing or hiring for some of those roles. You could hire a distance administrative assistant. Many online service providers can help with this need for office and time management.

You could also partner with another firm. Firm consolidation is a huge market force today, in part because of the economies of scale and growth that potential partnership brings. Furthermore, larger financial service companies offer support for advisors to grow their practice and relieve some of the roles that an advisor-owner might have to carry.

Clarify Your Role

A number of strategies can help advisers avoid or overcome burnout, but the most important strategy an advisor can follow is to clarify their role. Carrying all of the roles of running a company along with being an advisor can actually slow growth and productivity. To grow your business you should really focus on one role. Decide on which role you like best and stick to it. This role clarity can help you feel less stressed and actually grow your practice.

Additionally, advisors can reduce stress if they reinvent their practice around planning instead of investment performance. Advisors can’t control the market or investment performance. However, advisors can help control expectations around performance. The best way to do this is to engage in financial planning.

Putting together a true plan that provides value outside of investments will provide more security for the advisor and more clarity for the client. It’ll also remove the advisors’ worth from an outside force that the advisor cannot control – the market. Work with clients to get comprehensive plans together that’ll help the client. By doing this, you can add clarity to your own role and help reduce workplace stress.

Just because you’re a financial advisor doesn’t mean you’re immune to burnout. Clarify your role, hire or outsource to take work off your plate. Not only will you reduce burnout and stress, you’ll actually help grow your firm. Take care of yourself so you can continue to take care of your clients.

00453866 – 06/03/19

facebook twitter linkedin mail print
Share Post: facebook twitter linkedin mail print
Recent Posts
Blog

The 6 P’s of Choosing the Right Investment Manager

By: Saumen Chattopadhyay, CFA®
Good investment managers can be hard to find. While individual investors may move from one investment to another with relative ease and (hopefully) not lose too much in the process, an advisory firm’s reputation is often tied directly to selection of the right investment option, making an investment manager a particularly important decision. At Carson, our investment manager due diligence starts with understanding the six P’s. I say “starts with” because this is not the entire process by any means, but it is a way to build a strong foundation for making the right selection for our clients and our partners. 1. People We do a deep dive to understand the manager’s team – credentials, experience, how long the team has been together. We also want to get a clear picture of how the team works together to implement the investment process and how they are motivated. The most cohesive teams have often worked together for many years and step in to back each other up at critical points in time and provide seamless support. So, we are looking to answer specific questions, such as “Have they cultivated a …
Blog

Advisors, Don’t Waste Your Time and Money on Content Marketing

By: Zach McDonald
Content marketing has two aspects: Content Marketing And if not executed properly, it can be a waste of two things: Time Money Think of content as the bait and marketing as the hook. You can’t fish successfully without both pieces of the puzzle. You’ll either be left aimlessly throwing worms in the water or waiting for a bite on your empty hook.  It’s common to see advisors put so much effort into content, but forget about the marketing part. They’re feeding the fish, but not catching anything.  To complete the content marketing strategy circle of life, you have to capture the attention of leads and then reel them in. A lead magnet – such as an ebook or fact sheet – comes into play here. If you offer your readers something enticing enough that they willingly give you their email address, you’re on the right track. To go deeper, content and marketing can both be optimized to ensure you’re not wasting your resources, your time, or the time of those hungry prospects looking for the right information. Content Content is the first piece of the equation, not just because it …
Blog

The Advisor’s Guide to SEO: How to Get Your Firm to Climb Higher in Google Rankings

By: Cameron Carlow
Right when we receive word that a new partner is joining Carson, we get to work. (OK, maybe we take five minutes to celebrate and congratulate our new partner first.) But before the firm’s new website is launched, before its new brand is revealed, even before the press release is drafted, we start on Search Engine Optimization – more commonly known as SEO.  When it comes to SEO for financial advisors, the goal is to find the best keywords – what potential clients are typing into a search engine – then to help our partner rank near the top of Google results when someone types in those keywords, especially in that partner’s location. Related Content: How one firm climbed to the top of local Google results after becoming a Carson Partner We do heavy research, look at the local and national competition, study what’s working across the partnership, and put the building blocks in place. Then, when the new partner site launches, we are regularly adding content to the site’s blogs to help them continue to utilize those keywords. It’s a process we’ve ironed into an efficient, effective strategy that …
Blog

The Future of Financial Planning Hinges on Adapting to Change

By: Ron Carson
“Evolve or die,” is the blunt way British actor Craig Charles put it. The world is moving on, and the financial advisor profession is no exception to these tectonic shifts. Today, an aging advisor population is facing fee compression, ever-changing technology and an uncertain horizon in the market. The need for evolution is acute, and advisors need to start walking upright quickly. Changing Markets: China and the Roaring 20s China and the U.S. have a kind of symbiotic relationship that looks parasitic from some angles. We need each other and compete with each other at the same time. Our countries’ governments continue conversation with a little negotiation thrown in, meanwhile affecting investor behavior, which in turn affects market behavior. Every time Donald Trump and Xi Jinping open the door for each other on the news, a frenzy of buying and selling is bound to occur, no matter what actually happens. Today’s advisor needs to have some understanding of current events and how client behavioral bias is impacted by much more than spreadsheets and graphs. At home, the roaring 2020’s are about to begin, and wise investors and advisors are taking …
1 2 3 47