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Giving young enterprising people aspiring to become financial advisers the momentum they need to succeed!

04 July 2024 Momentum

Johnny Wood: Head of Adviser Partnerships at Momentum writes to the young financially minded youth to consider a career in financial advice.

South Africa has a notorious lack of a savings culture. Around nine out of ten South Africans who retire do not have enough money to comfortably retire and are forced to get a supplemental income to keep them going. Even leading up to retirement, South Africans are becoming increasingly challenged by the skyrocketing cost of living that are seeing households drowning in debt just to make ends meet. We just can’t win. Or can we?

The point is, financial literacy in South Africa is in need of repair, and as a new generation rises to meet the demands of a challenging economic future – who will be there to guide them on their journeys to success?

Of course, the answer is quite simple. Financial advisers are the key to our economic liberation – the problem is, it isn’t exactly a career the throngs of graduating youth are scrambling towards.

Bringing sexy back to financial planning

I’ll be honest, South Africa’s financial planning sector is seemingly losing its grip over graduates. Fewer young people are choosing careers in financial services, which is why it is vital to find ways of attracting a new generation of financial advisers.

Right now, the financial advice industry is viewed as stuffy, bland, boring, and filled with an older generation out of touch with today’s entrepreneurially minded youth; “up-and-coming young players” bursting with creativity and ambition. As an industry, we need to be ready to turn the generational tides of financial advice. Without new, younger financial advisers in our fold, we cannot grow our business or hope to reach the youth slated to lead this country into a brighter, and more financially secure future.

Our younger generation is growing a stronger, more holistic social conscience and the ambition to solve wider social problems has never been more prevalent than in Millennials and Gen Z’s. This mindset is an incredibly good fit for the field of financial planning, where individuals help people improve their financial wellbeing. That is the very definition of a win-win.

Build a career where you are in control

Financial planning is also a field that fully embraces the new approach to the way of work, where flexibility is increasingly becoming a priority. Add to the mix, the tough reality of a high youth unemployment rate and we have a viable proposition, not only for our company and our industry, but for our country.

In an age where we lived through a pandemic that reminded us there was much room for flexibility in many careers, young aspirational financial planners should be excited by the fact that this industry is one where you can create your own rules and structure your resources to aid you on your journey.

The current skills gap in the financial sector can offer real opportunities for many new recruits to create not only short-term jobs but employment for life.

Once you’ve made the decision to pursue the life of a financial adviser, the next step is to find a partner who will let you be you.

Find the best partner

As our young, aspiring financial advisers begin to water the sprouts of their careers, they may be hesitant to forgo their independence by partnering with big FSP brands.

As Head of Adviser Partnerships at Momentum, I've seen the transformative impact of collaboration in our industry. Let's address common concerns young entrepreneurs have about partnering with larger brands and how it can actually unlock opportunities for growth and success.

• Preserving your identity:
Young entrepreneurs fear losing the brand identity they've worked hard to build. But partnering with an FSP doesn't mean sacrificing your brand. It's about enhancing it. You retain control while gaining access to resources and expertise.
• Regulatory autonomy:
Keeping your own FSP license is crucial. Partnering with a larger FSP, for instance, doesn't mean giving it up. It expands your offerings while allowing you to maintain regulatory compliance on your terms.
• Freedom from constraints:
Fear of 'house views' is valid. With any credible FSP brand, you should be free to craft personalised solutions without external biases.
• Navigating complexity:
Regulatory compliance is daunting, but you don't have to go it alone. Partnering with a larger FSP provides dedicated support and resources to ease the burden of staying compliant for all adviser partners.
• Planning for the future:
Succession planning is a concern for any business. To account for this, a larger FSP would offer robust solutions, ensuring continuity for you and your clients as you plan for the future.
• Streamlining practice management:
Practice management can be time-consuming. By partnering with a larger FSP, you can get access to technology and tools that streamline administrative tasks, allowing you to focus on serving your clients.

By becoming a financial adviser, young professionals have the opportunity to offer meaningful advice, cultivate an unlimited income potential, harness their entrepreneurial spirit, and exercise their creativity in a practice structure where they are the business owner.

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, are young and driven, and ready to grow a nation, then a career in financial advice may be the opportunity you’ve been looking for.

So, to all the young financially minded entrepreneurs out there, I implore you embrace the journey of financial advice, where every client served is a step towards a brighter, more secure South Africa. And as you embark on this journey to success, remember that you need not walk alone.

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