Whether or not you are planning on changing firms, you should always have proof of production and a rolodex of client’s names and numbers outside the office just in case you find yourself suddenly separated from your firm.I have come across many Financial Advisors and other sales professionals whom did not have proof of their production or contact information upon termination. Financial advisors can be fired at any time. One day your manager may come into your office and inform you that you are being terminated. This can happen for several reasons, but is usually because of a compliance issue or downsizing in the firm for smaller producers. It is customary in the industry to escort you to the door upon termination.

If you do get terminated and do not have a printout of this critical information, it will cost you dearly. Always keep a current printed copy of sales production and proof of assets, in a safe place at home. You never know when you are going to quit or even worse, get fired. Being able to prove past production means the difference between a great deal and no deal when you are moving firms. I have had advisors that missed out on hundreds of thousands of dollars because they did not have a simple printout of numbers. Others had no way to contact clients because they did not have the contact information outside the office.

Many times a financial advisor decides to leave a firm very abruptly. Even though current numbers are the most important, there are times when past numbers come into play. Different firms have different methods for calculating deals. Some look at the trailing twelve months worth of production. Others look at the last three months and average that number with the last twelve. There are many ways I have seen it done and if you don’t have the previous month’s numbers, sometimes it is impossible to go back and retrieve them.

When I was in production, I would print out proof of assets and production at the end of every month. I also kept my clients information in an outside contact manager software database. Having all your clients in an updated outside database also makes a transition to a new firm much easier. There are enough stresses when you change firms. If you have to put all your clients into a spreadsheet, in the last minute, it is one stress you don’t need.

Remember, this is a weird business where weird things happen. Anyone can be fired or decide to change firms quickly, so make sure you are the one that is prepared.

Rick Rummage is the founder and CEO of The Rummage Group, which specializes in helping financial advisors discover career opportunities within their market. He can be reached at rick@therummagegroup.com or (703) 435-2822.