Are you the financial advisor who has been with the same broker-dealer for your entire career?  You keep your head down, take great care of your clients and get along with everyone. 

In high school, you were voted most likely to succeed or most popular.  You may have even married your high school sweetheart. 

Chances are, if you are this person, change doesn't come easy for you.  You have habits that have been with you for years.  There isn't anything wrong with having loyalty toward the people you love, family and friends.  The issue often arises when you have that same loyalty toward an employer or firm you work with. 

In financial services, advisors have several choices in how they can work with clients.  You can be an employee of a bank, regional firm or wire-house.  You can be a sole proprietor with an independent affiliation to a broker dealer or custody platform.  You can even be an employee or affiliated advisor to a sole proprietor who has chosen one of the above options.  No matter which one applies to you, you owe it to yourself to regularly evaluate your current opportunity in comparison to the alternatives in the marketplace.  Are you being compensated fairly, is the support you receive equal to the margins you give up?  Is your input wanted?  Are there growth opportunities within the firm?  Are you being fulfilled with the people you surround yourself with?  Advisors average 50+ hours a week focused on work.  If your spending that much time working, you better make certain you are working in the best place possible.  By the way, if you don't love what you are doing, you better find something else to do.   Working with people and their money is the most trusted profession on the planet.

So, what's holding you back from exploring other options?  Why don't you take that call from the recruiter to hear about what another firm is doing to help accelerate an advisors career path?  According to Meridian IQ, a data aggregation company, over 25,000 advisors made a change in 2011.  By agreeing to speak with another firm, you are not cheating on your current one; you are just keeping your options open.  Who knows, it might be the one call that can change your life.  If you can say you are 100% satisfied with every aspect of your current work environment, then this blog does not apply to you.  If only partially satisfied, I would encourage you to explore a little.  See what might be around the corner.  Perhaps you are meant to create your own wealth management firm, or to collaborate with a peer to develop a joint partnership to change the way advice is delivered to clients.  The beautiful thing is, you have options, lot's of them.  Good luck exploring them and never be afraid of a little change.

Ryan Shanks is CEO of Finetooth Consulting and Co-founder of Join A Firm.  He has 12 years of industry experience, managing and growing advisor recruiting models.  

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