Most Advisors Unprepared For Transition, Survey Reveals
By Jack Martin
Michael Gerber, father of the eMyth, said: “It’s a myth that people who start businesses are entrepreneurs.”
For financial advisors, a new InsurMark survey found the eMyth is a reality. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of those surveyed identified themselves as “advisors who own a business” versus 26 percent who said they are “business owners who happen to be advisors,” according to the Spring Business Alpha survey.
InsurMark conducted this Business Alpha Data Survey to help advisors understand the challenges of running their practice as a more successful business.
Financial advisors as a group are an aging population. They are facing a season of transition. And so this survey focused on one central question: How prepared are you?
“Many advisors may be setting themselves up for a lot of unnecessary stress. Most are baby boomers and will eventually face a transition. When we found that 83 percent of advisors consider their business a part of their retirement plans, we knew that these advisors could need help planning and preparing for their life after work,” said Jay Vinson, InsurMark’s executive vice president for sales and marketing.
The business opportunity for advisors and institutions who work with them is that many of these advisors could have more than a great-paying job with more structure to their business.
The survey found that even though their business is a part of their retirement plans, 65 percent of advisors said they had no succession plans and 89 percent said they had no appraised value for their business.
“It’s really a case of the cobbler’s family has no shoes,” Vinson said. “Advisors do a great job of measuring their clients’ assets and progress toward their goals. But they have not taken the basic steps to prepare their business for a transition. We don’t think this means they are all planning to ‘die at their desks’ but they could use help from strategic partners to maximize their business planning.”
“Another interesting thread revealed by the survey was how are really committed advisors are to their life’s work,” said Jeff Maxey, InsurMark executive vice president and general manager. “The vast majority have enjoyed careers of 15-plus years. Sixty-two percent are sole practitioners or what are called ‘lifestyle’ practices, while 38 percent work in multi-advisor or enterprise practices. Advisors have been relatively successful financially with 88 percent earning more than $100,000 annually and 18 percent earning more than $1 million annually.”
Taking the view that advisors are focused on the “lifestyle” aspect of their business, the survey found that 69 percent of the advisors said they had not realized their desired work/life balance. More revealing was the finding that 75 percent found the biggest barrier to realizing their work/life balance was time.
Jack Martin, CFP, is co-founder and president of Elite Advisor Group. Jack may be contacted at [email protected].