What firms can do to help ensure diverse advisor talent thrives

OKUM: As a young diverse advisor, you're embarking on the territory that not very many people have gone. It's not something that you can look to somebody else and say, "So and so did it and I can do it also." The vanguards in this trail. I think what firms can do at least Edward Jones has done a good job of is basically giving you a lot of touch points. This business is absolutely in your head and when things don't go right, you can personalize it, you don't know why so and so doesn't want to do business with you an so on and so forth.

You need those touch points that can reassure you that this is normal, this happens quite often to many advisors also. Also, realizing that you have to work really hard. When people think of an advisor or a planner, they want to certainly see me. You have to really work hard to prove your competence and also show people that, "Yes, I am supposed to be where I'm at." It's very important to me that I want to see more people like myself in the industry because as the years go on, it's going to normalize seeing a young diverse individual as an advisor.