Almost 10 years ago, I wrote about a serious issue for advisors that I humbly believed was not getting the attention it deserved: the lack of career paths for young advisors. In this article, I present for your consideration another major issue that the industry, and especially owner-advisors, must address or suffer the consequences: the lack of an integrated marketing approach to grow their firms in the 21st century.
In February 2005, I wrote a cover story for Investment Advisor called “The Great Divide.” That story was about the lack of professional career tracks in the majority of independent financial planning firms and its primary effect: the failure to attract young professionals to the industry. While young financial planners applauded, I received a great deal of pushback from many owner-advisors and industry gurus who failed to see “the problem” at the time the article was published.
Since then, the planning profession has come to realize that advisory firm growth depends on adding young advisors, and most consultants became busy helping firms create career tracks to turn young, next-generation advisors into lead advisors and, eventually, into owners.