Anniversary by Jeff Alexander
“It has been 1 year since I decided to become an independent financial advisor, it was the hardest decision in my professional life, however, it has also been the most rewarding. When you work for wealth advisory within the banking world you are always asked to do more and more and it becomes about the numbers, what the banks want you to do, and not the client. I was fortunate in that system to be number 1 within my region, yet I felt I wasn't able to provide the service needed and started to feel overwhelmed. I was losing sleep, worried that world events and economic events prevented me from having the client contact that was necessary to be the best advisor. My health suffered as well as my attitude and quite frankly my mental health. I was managing a large book of business instead of being all things to all people I was just the opposite. I didn't have the technology, the investment choices, resources etc. I won awards, but I was stretched too thin the awards meant NOTHING. Then came my Jerry Maguire moment. Leave it all while on top and hope that my clients would follow. The first few weeks were the worst, second guessing myself wondering why do I have to be such a contrarian. Now here I am a year later, a year older, a year wiser, and I can say I am a better financial advisor. I can manage my clients with better tools, better investment choices, and provide better service. Life is manageable and I truly feel like I am impacting lives which is why I entered this business. Have all my clients followed? Nope, but most have and my relationships with each and every one has deepened and I am able to contact each client in the event of financial strains on the market and world events (Brexit). It's great to be an advisor again, I am so thankful. Life is short, risk it!!!”
I wrote this one year ago on July 8th 2016, the anniversary of my one year departure from the banking world. Now that I have passed my 2 year mark and everything I wrote last year rings truer. What’s changed from last year is that my practice has grown to the point where I’ve added a Client Services Manager and I’m now completely focused on financial planning.
It’s funny how life comes full circle. I started in this business in 1993 training to become a financial planner. That was my title - Financial Planner. My first task when working with a new client was to develop a road map - the financial plan, because if you aim at nothing that’s exactly what you are going to hit, so I built a business on the foundation of financial planning. Then in 2005, I sold my business moved from Cocoa Beach Florida to Portsmouth Rhode Island to work within wealth management in the banking world. Even though financial planning was introduced into banks, it was not the same. The software used by banks was antiquated and you didn’t have enough time to develop the relationship and provide the service to justify doing a plan. In 24 years in this business the following are the titles that I have been called (on business cards): Financial Planner, Financial Advisor, Senior Financial Advisor, Gold Team Advisor, Financial Consultant, Senior Financial Consultant-Vice President, and Wealth Manager. That’s quite a bit of titles, but the one I always felt the most simpatico with was that of Financial Planner, because that’s why I do what I do! The biggest difference in the financial plans that I used to do in Florida and the ones now is technology. You can now aggregate your assets into a financial plan and click onto a website and see how you are doing towards achieving your goals. I’m simplifying this a lot as there is so much more that is possible with the software. This is a true game changer!
I’m so fortunate to have grown my business significantly over the last year and I want to thank each and every one of you. It’s an honor for me to help you towards achieving your goals. I look forward to writing the follow-up to this on my third anniversary.