A few years ago, I interviewed to become a financial advisor. The big investment firms didn’t hire me. It hurt!
Why wasn’t I hired as a financial advisor?
I was bright-eyed, young, and naïve. The world was my oyster and I was ready to make a difference. I wanted to change the way our generation manages money. When interviewing they asked, “Why do you want to be a financial advisor?”
I responded confidently, “I want to help educate young adults about money.”
It’s clear now why they rejected me.
However, at the time I couldn’t believe they didn’t hire me. As the rejection letters rolled in, the stubborn Italian in me became furious. I felt highly qualified. Financial advisors don’t need to have a college degree. Instead they simply need a passing score on two exams, the Series 7 and Series 63 to get a license to sell investments and insurance.
I had a degree in Finance from the 4th best undergraduate finance programs in the nation according to U.S. News.
Forbes reported that financial advisors needed to be, “Go-getters… advisors have to attract clients. Part of the job entails meeting with prospective new clients and gathering assets. Those working in the industry need to hustle if they want to grow their businesses.”
Hustle was my middle name.
At 18, before college, I drove half-way across the country for an internship working over 80 hours a week as a sales representative for educational books. When I graduated college I started my own residential home security system business.
A big investment firm would hire me surely! I was a finance grad, hustler, and passionate about making a difference in people’s financial lives.
Here’s why wasn’t I hired as a financial advisor.
Eventually, I understood what happened. Financial advisors are paid fee-based or fee-only. This can be confusing. NerdWallet explains more on what that means. Here’s the summary:
First, financial advisor are paid a commission with a fee-based structure. For example, most standard mutual funds have fees of 1-2%. Financial advisors are paid a percentage of what you invest in even if the investment. performs poorly. With financial advising there’s a conflict of interest. Are advisors recommending investments in your best interest or because they’re getting paid a higher commission?
To avoid conflict of interest there are financial advisors that are fee-only, or a set fee for a financial plan. This comes with a price tag. According to New Means Financial Planning, the average fee is $1620-$3960.
Then it clicked. The managers who were interviewing me were looking for financial advisors who would go after high-net worth individuals and primarily sell investments and insurance.
That wasn’t what I wanted.
I wanted to help educate everyday people, especially 20-30 somethings, who are just starting off. Plus, someone paying off college loans isn’t going to spend almost $4,000 for a financial plan. That would be ludicrous! With coffee in hand and my laptop, I just started typing.
I wanted to teach what I learned studying finance in a way that non-finance majors would understand. I wanted to focus on the educational aspect of money by explaining investing concepts like compound interest, the time value of money, diversification, or the tax benefits of 401(k) plans.
Money is personal! Managing money isn’t managing money, it is managing your life. Like, how do you manage paying off debt and being a bridesmaid in three different weddings, in one year? Gulp, bridesmaids’ dresses aren’t cheap! Or how do you save up to go on a once in a lifetime trip backpacking through Asia? Or heck, even how to negotiate down the interest on your credit cards.
I created Best Money Class Ever, a four-week class that’s like CrossFit, but with money!
What would I be doing now if I was working for a big investment firm?
I’d be meeting with current millionaire’s in their fifties trying to get them to transfer their assets for me to manage.
Now I educate 20-30 somethings and help them change their financial lives. I can show that if you invest $250 a month with 9% interest, you can be a millionaire by retirement age! Find out how Claire saved her first $1,000 for retirement. Dealing with debt? Here’s how Kim paid off $45,404 in debt in 28 months. Or want to start a business on the side? This is how Samantha and Stan doubled their income with a side hustle.
Knowledge is power and now I can teach about money with no conflict of interests, no outrageous fees, no biases, and facts.
That’s why I wasn’t hired as a financial advisor. Thank God for rejection!