FA-IQ reached out to advisors to ask: What’s a piece of advice you have for young advisors entering the industry?

Jon Ekoniak is a managing partner of Bordeaux Wealth Advisors. Ekoniak, based in Menlo Park, California, has been in the financial services industry 12 years. His firm’s client assets total $4.1 billion.

Jon Ekoniak

“For potential FAs considering wealth management, the foremost advice is to ensure this is the right industry for you. As a Wealth Advisor, you are potentially guiding someone’s financial future, so there is a tremendous amount of responsibility in this role,” Ekoniak said.

“There are very few things as important to a family as their overall wealth, especially considering how hard they likely worked to accumulate it. Secondly, one needs to determine if this is a job or a career. If it is a job, there are plenty of financial advisory firms that need tactical workers. To determine if this is a career for you, here are some questions to ponder:

  • Do you manage your own finances now? (Do you maintain a budget, compile a net worth report, file your own taxes, research and make educated investment decisions, etc.?)
  • Do you truly care about the outcome of people’s financial lives? ([For example,] Will you take their calls on the weekend?)
  • Are you a lifelong learner? (Are you continually reading and researching topics for which you are passionate? Are you passionate about personal finance?)”

Luke Neumann is a wealth planner at Crestwood Advisors. Neumann, based in Boulder, Colorado, has been in the industry nine years. His team’s client assets total $200 million.

“Join a firm that genuinely cares about its clients! You’ll learn more, become a better advisor, and probably have more fun while doing so. Firms that care about their clients will have high growth and high client retention rates — look for this as you evaluate your job opportunities. Perhaps most importantly for young advisors, these firms will care more about the advisors they are putting in front of their clients, meaning more focus on your professional development,” Neumann said.

Luke Neumann

“Once hired, empathize with your clients! Your clients are great people looking to you as their trusted advisor. You have to earn that trust through hard work, honesty, and subject matter expertise. You don’t have to know everything — but you do have to be prepared to work through every problem they bring to you and resource the client effectively. Being an empathetic advisor is not always a straightforward job — but it is rewarding and can give back more than you put in,” he added.