How many times have we said to ourselves, “If I’d only known then what I know now?” At this year’s Securities America Assistant University, a panel of experienced advisor assistants shared the benefit of hindsight and the top things they wish they had known in their first year as an assistant.

Betsy Dickey in St. Charles, Ill., said all assistants – especially those in their first year – should keep some sort of notebook of common procedures and instructions for even mundane tasks. This notebook can be a physical notebook with detailed hand-written notes, or a Microsoft Word document that includes screen prints of pages within programs and systems. These notebooks serve as quick reference guides while you are still learning the ins and outs of your duties within the practice, and can be used by all assistants to create uniform processes or as training tools for future assistants.

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