Workers expect their defined contribution plans to play a greater role in their retirement income than annuities.
By Cyril Tuohy
Edward Jones, the Missouri-based financial services firm, has announced the hiring of 336 military veterans so far this year as part of its FORCES hiring initiative. The new hires add to the company’s 1,500 veterans already employed as advisors.
“The competencies and skill sets embraced in the military not only align with, but greatly complement, those needed to be a successful financial advisor,” Jim Weddle, managing partner of Edward Jones, said in a statement.
Company surveys have found that clients are drawn to advisors with military experience and the skills learned in the U.S. armed forces: discipline, goal-orientation and integrity. The FORCES program, which provides training for veterans looking to become advisors after they return from deployment, was launched last year.
Approximately 11 percent of its more than 12,000 financial advisors have military experience, Edward Jones added.
Other well-known financial services companies have launched similar recruiting initiatives for veterans.
Earlier this year, Northwestern Mutual launched a recruiting effort targeting veterans by increasing the company’s presence at career fairs and online.
“The independence, flexibility and opportunity to really take control of your career are tremendous motivating factors to becoming a successful financial representative,” Mark Perrault, a U.S. Air Force veteran and Northwestern Mutual financial representative from Colorado Springs, Colo., said in a news release.
Some medical experts and veterans say that recent news reports that veterans, some of whom suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are a liability for many employers do not paint a fair picture. They also say that stress-related traumas affect civilians as well as veterans.
“The reality is that not all veterans have PTSD,” Adam Brochetti, a sales representative of variable annuities for Lincoln Financial Distributors, said in a news release. “PTSD most often occurs as the result of our men and women being exposed to very traumatic events over the course of their combat deployments. Not everyone who experience these traumatic events struggle with PTSD.”
Potential employers have a large pool of freshly discharged veterans from which to pick. The number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan is scheduled to drop to 34,000 by February, from more than 60,000 stationed there in July.
All troops are slated to be out of Afghanistan by the end of next year.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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