Last week, FP Transitions attended the NAPFA Spring Conference in Phoenix, Arizona which wrapped up on Saturday. Thank you to all the clients and visitors who stopped by to visit with us. We always love hearing your questions, stories, and plans.
The Next Generation Showing
I was happy to see so many young people involved this year. NAPFA’s Genesis group–members 33 old and younger–was well represented and students from Kansas State University and Texas Tech University were working as event volunteers.
I had the opportunity to speak with several of them, and they said that in meeting so many advisors, they were learning what different job environments were available; they could work at a business with 100 advisors, join a solo practice, or anything in between. In doing this exploration, they have a better chance to start out on the right foot. It was exciting to see the early sparks of motivation and passion in these young advisors-to-be.
Several advisors stopped by the FPT booth to talk about bringing their son or daughter into the business. Having worked in a family business myself, I know how rewarding it can be. There are special considerations, though, and as advisors brought up, situation-specific concerns: How do we balance work and family? What impact does that have on the kids who aren’t in the business? How will it affect an office with non-family staff and advisors?
One of our current clients visited with his college-aged son and we talked about whether he should start out in the family business right away or get experience elsewhere first. The answer, of course, will be different for everyone. The key to addressing family ownership and integrating it into your business is to keep communication open and flowing.
While family succession is a very specific situation, it’s actually quite common. The process of incorporating younger owners in and of itself is no different whether it involves family or not. That is to say, that while there are no additional hurdles in a regulatory sense, there are also no shortcuts to be had. Take a look at our recent article on the subject for more information on the nuances of family succession.
Respect for the Profession
In closing, I’d like to share a piece from the agenda introduction that stood out to me. It reminded us, as a group within this financial advisory and services world, to think carefully when we use the word “industry” or “profession.”
If we expect the public to respect financial planning as a profession, we must cease the use of the word “industry” and like terms. Industries make widgets; professions provide trusted counsel and expert advice to clients.
It struck me as an interesting distinction. The truth is, we do have a financial services industry, which includes businesses of all sizes and specialties. And, within the industry, there are firms and individuals who are professionals. This includes fee-only advisors, individuals with the CFA, CFP™ or other designations, and those of us who support advisory firms: lawyers, CPAs, specialized consultants and coaches. That being said, it’s an important message to remember that as a group we aren’t just shooting off pre-determined answers to an assembly line of clients, but are supporting investors with customized and specialized advice. You fill a role with incredible value.
And with that, thank you for another wonderful event. See you next time!