Best and Worst Financial Services Jobs
This is part of a Yakezie Blog Swap Series. You can find my post over at The College Investor
Hi, I’m Robert from The College Investor, a personal finance site that focused on saving, investing, and getting out of student loans.
I haven’t held too many jobs in my life, but I’ve had some that I’ve truly enjoyed, and others that I’ve absolutely hated. I’m going to start off what what I discovered as possibly the worst job, because it will lead to my thoughts on the best job.
The Worst Job Ever – Stock Broker
In college, I interned at an independent financial broker. It was an eye-opening experience. When I was in college, I originally thought I wanted to get into finance, and maybe even investment banking. I really enjoyed the topics, and had done well personally investing. I thought that an internship would be the way to go to really get my foot in the door into the investing world.
When I started, I knew that I would be doing pretty menial work, I mean it was an internship. And I was right – my work consistent in a lot of cold calling. But I also got to do some analysis and talk with some brokers and assistants. It was during these conversations that I really started to believe that the worst job ever is being a stock broker.
I started chatting with several brokers about what they were doing with the market, and they all said the same thing – certain mutual funds, and annuities. I asked them why, and they said because these products have high commissions for them. They would brag about selling these products to people, and how they would pocket $5,000 or $10,000. And this was all they did – they were sales reps, not really investment advisers, and they were just making a buck.
Why I think it is a horrible job is that for almost every stock broker, this is the name of the game – you get a list of approved investments to steer clients into, and you’re in it to maximize your personal commission. I learned very quickly this was not what I wanted to do, and that is why it is the worst job!
The Best Job Ever – Fee Based Financial Planner
Based on my experience with the stock brokers, I was really disheartened with the financial services industry. However, I soon discovered that not everyone was in it to make a buck off their clients. At a college investor’s conference, I met a fee-based financial planner. It was great to hear someone speak about how they make investment and estate plans for individuals based on their needs, not based off a sales sheet.
The financial planner talked about how for his fee, he would put together a comprehensive plan for the individual based on what was appropriate for them – some would invest, some would need to focus on savings, others did need insurance products, etc. It was comprehensive, real, and above all, put the clients interest first.
If I ever did work in the financial services field, this would be my dream job – minimal sales, and maximum helping of the client.
Editor’s Note: My first job after graduating college was as a loan broker for a small financial services company. I basically worked as a salesman, trying to close 36% personal loans, and 18% second mortgages. I also had to collect on money by visiting people in their homes! Needless to say, I only worked there a few months. I think a fee based financial planner that provides true value and unbiased wisdom to their clients would be a very fulfilling job.