Experience, wisdom and a few gray hairs can offer tremendous advantages in the financial services industry. Potential clients in midlife and later appreciate a broad range of experiences when it comes to managing their money. And that is to the benefit of people starting a second career – younger adults who have not yet enjoyed that breadth and depth of life’s experiences.
Anyone seeking a career change or midlife diversion should at least consider the financial industry. Direct experience such as accounting, finance or economics transfers easily. Athletics, politics and acting often translate well thanks to professional networking, resulting in a list of future qualified prospects.
If you’re thinking about making the leap into a second-half-of-life career in the financial services industry, give some thought to the following.
Invest in yourself. Certifications and credentials can be a door opener for those willing to invest in themselves. Recognized industry standards include Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Financial Analyst, Certified Investment Management Analyst and Financial Para-Planner Qualified Professional. All require some level of additional education, testing and technical preparation.
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Find a mentor. A mentor can increase your odds of success. By joining an established team or group, you may be matched with an accomplished adviser to help you succeed. Success usually occurs between years three and five.
Have a cushion. A safety net will support your career while you learn the business and establish a clientele. You may experience a temporary decline in pay, but the industry tends to pay above-average compensation and benefits. Besides, you would never advise clients to save and invest without doing so yourself, right?
Get ready to work. Once you’ve decided to make the switch, be ready for the hard work that follows. Information overload and overcoming the fear of client prospecting can be intimidating, but that’s where your experience and self-confidence come into play.
Your previous knowledge and experience can afford you a distinct advantage. Managing someone’s personal finances is a daunting task, but doing it well provides well, and offers stability and peace of mind. Planning, saving and frugal spending helps those inclined to seek advice for a securely funded retirement.
The “Fortune 40,” the name of my original brokerage training class, is now whittled down to 2! It’s been a difficult career at times, but the satisfaction of helping others gain financial independence is deeply satisfying. If you have what it takes, a midlife change to financial services could be your ticket.
Mark Daly is an investment management analyst and partner in the Perpetua Group. Mark@ThePerpetuaGroup.com.