The field offers numerous opportunities to make a meaningful impact on individuals, families and communities.
In the rapidly growing financial advice industry, military veterans are seeking a career path that allows them to leverage their unique skill sets and continue serving those in need.
As veterans consider transitioning to civilian life after a demanding military career, the field of financial advice offers numerous opportunities to make a meaningful impact on individuals, families and communities — including military families who may not have had the time, opportunity or access to experts who can help them manage and handle financial matters.
A career as a financial advisor is about bringing Wall Street to Main Street, in a highly personalized setting that meets the needs of everyday people, wherever they are. We often hear about Federal Reserve rate hikes or the stock market’s overall performance, but economic news can sometimes feel remote or abstract to many.
As a financial advisor, you shepherd clients and their household finances, even in an unpredictable market cycle such as the one we’re in now.
When they join the right financial firm, veterans can thrive with access to hands-on learning, a deep network of mentors familiar with veterans transitioning to civilian jobs and both local business and industry resources if they’re eager to excel and invest the time to learn.
Prospective clients are often overwhelmed with options and aren’t sure who to trust with their finances. But by working with a firm with local and home office support and tapping into the knowledge and experience of trailblazing veterans already in the industry, veterans who join the civilian workforce as financial advisors can build an exceptional career that has real-life impacts, helping create greater security for their clients’ futures.
Veterans-turned-financial advisors I know tell me they believe they’re in the right industry at the right time.
Financial advisors are in demand now more than ever, for the following reasons:
1. More Americans need advisors.
Financial wellness and literacy have become increasingly important, particularly for an aging workforce, including government employees and members of the armed services.
As households undergo a significant intergenerational wealth transfer, financial advisors play a critical role in guiding individuals through important financial decisions. According to Cerulli Associates’ 2021 forecast, nearly 45 million U.S. households are expected to transfer more than $68 trillion in assets over the next 25 years.
These trends underscore the need for professionals who can provide personalized guidance. Furthermore, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of personal financial advisors is projected to grow 15% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.
2. Advisors are ‘personal finance whisperers.’
Today’s financial advisors focus on building lasting relationships, moving beyond simple number crunching and product sales.
The industry is evolving, and veterans’ strong sense of mission and purpose honed during their military service makes them a perfect fit for the industry. Veterans’ adaptability, forged through diverse and unique challenges and missions, also enables them to provide unparalleled support to individuals facing financial challenges.
Financial advisors must be able to navigate nuance, customizing advice in areas such as long-term investing, budgeting, insurance, retirement planning, benefits, Social Security, estate planning strategies, home ownership and tax reduction strategies. They don’t just bring Wall Street to Main Street; they also make sense of household finances in an everyday language that strengthens communities across the United States.
3. The sky’s the limit.
In the financial advice world, independence, leadership and initiative matter. Successful financial advisors come from various backgrounds but share common traits with veterans.
Candidates who possess an entrepreneurial spirit, confidence and a willingness to take calculated risks thrive. Whether they earn through the sale of commission-based transaction products or charge clients based on a percentage of assets under management or administration, when it comes to revenue, there is no cap for proactive financial advisors.
It is important to partner with a firm that has the resources to help generate leads and organically attract prospective clients.
The Next Chapter
Effective communication skills with clients and colleagues are crucial in building trust and facilitating productive relationships. Veterans’ ability to prioritize and manage their time effectively is a significant advantage, given the fast-paced and constantly evolving nature of the finance industry, but check with a career counselor at your permanent employment assistance center, first, for more information.
Transitioning from the armed services to a new industry is undoubtedly challenging for veterans. However, embarking on a career as a financial advisor provides an opportunity to lead while continuing to make a positive impact on many lives.
The veterans I’ve met over the years bring a strong sense of purpose, mission, team-building skills, prioritization abilities and time-management expertise that make them an excellent fit for this rewarding and challenging career. By embracing a role in the financial advice industry, veterans can continue their legacy of service and create a long-term lasting impact.
Patrick Hynes is head of field sales for Prudential Advisors and leads strategy for a group that includes roughly 3,000 financial professionals.