Like most other industries, there has been a great deal of change in the field of financial advising over the past few decades. In addition to the scores of new tools and technologies, there are also new challenges to face when trying to build a book of business, especially when starting from scratch. It is because of these challenges that the financial advising industry is facing a shortage of young reps entering the field. If this trend continues unchecked, it poses an existential problem to the future of the financial advising industry. To address this issue and encourage young people to continue on in their growing careers, L.M. Kohn has introduced its Young Rep Forum.

The Young Rep Forum is the creation of L.M. Kohn Business Development Associate Liam Mulligan and COO Tim Chon. It is a quarterly online meeting that gathers young financial advisors from across the L.M. Kohn network, usually in their 20s, 30s or early 40s, to learn about a specific topic and have the chance to network with other professionals at similar stages in their careers. The meetings cover all forms of subjects, from compliance issues and marketing strategies to technology demos and fund presentations. And each meeting features a guest subject matter expert to deliver professional advice. For young professionals in a traditionally gate-kept industry where many keep their trade secrets carefully guarded to discourage competition, the Young Rep Forum is an essential resource for staving off attrition.

“A lot of people used to look at it like they’re competing for clients,” said Liam. “If I have a way to get new clients or do my job better, I’m not going to share because it means less money for me. It’s been more of a focus on the here and now, and not a lot on the future of the industry. Finding ways to encourage young people to stick it out in this industry and keep pursuing opportunities is important for the future of financial advising as well as client wellbeing. Whether people realize it or not, we’re all in this for the same reasons: to make a living and to help clients make money with their investments and be able to retire someday.”

In addition to the educational aspects, young advisors have also found a sense of community and camaraderie in attending Young Rep Forum meetings. And when many are the only young professional on their team, having access to a network of advisors in the same situation is particularly helpful.

Dylan Furlong began his career as a financial advisor less than 2 years ago with Pilot Wealth Management, a registered representative of L.M. Kohn. He has been a member of the Young Rep Forum since its inaugural meeting and has found it both useful and encouraging at this point in his career.

“The Young Rep Forum really shows that L.M. Kohn values the young advisors in the group and growing them professionally into successful careers,” said Dylan. “With regulations and policies changing so much, the cold-calling tactics of the past don’t work anymore for building a book of business. But since there are L.M. Kohn reps across the country, I get to talk with people at the same stage in their careers from all over and ask them about what’s working for them and what’s not, and figure out how to spend my time to be successful.”

“Every time I leave one of these forums, I feel better than I did before,” continued Dylan. “The first forum came at a perfect time. This career path is a rollercoaster, especially when you’re getting started. I was wondering if this is what I wanted to do, if this was what’s best for me. But the individual advice and encouragement from established advisors as well as people my age has really kept me going.”

For more information on how L.M. Kohn is helping its reps and clients prepare for future success, please contact us.