18 June 2019, by Charnay Cooper & the Morebo Interns
Discussing what a Financial Advisor does, with final year students at the University of Johannesburg was interesting as the audience, being millennials, included in the discussions the 4th industrial revolution and how this could affect a Financial Advisors career path.
There were many questions around what a Financial Advisor does. In explaining this, it was important to discuss that this is a career and not a job. We explained the payment structure. The fact that Financial Advisors earn their living through commission and that it is not a fixed amount, troubled the students. It was important for us to say that the money earned is a bi product of making a difference in someone else’s life and that the true rewards are seen through patience, hard work and commitment through this career path. The long-term rewards far outweigh the short-term sacrifices.
The stigma of insurance is seen to be negative and we negated this idea by explaining that insurance cannot be looked at as just “policies” but rather as solutions to certain life problems. These perceptions were changed when we showed the students statistics for young adults (their age) that are affected by certain life illnesses and thus claimed from the respective Insurance House. They were astonished by how many young adults were financially secured through their disability cover post a car accident.
The negative stigma around insurance was changed when we spoke on the importance of young adults becoming Financial Advisors with the view of changing and influencing the industry.
“Why would one need a Financial Advisor?” was a question that was raised. We used this opportunity to explain that the Financial Advisor bridges the gap between the client and the institution/insurance and investment houses. The Financial Advisor builds and maintains the relationship between the two parties and keeps the client’s best interests in mind. Clients are also unaware of certain life problems that they may face, and it is important for the Financial Advisor to assist the client in understanding the long-term implications of decisions made.
A concern around the 4th industrial revolution was raised in that the students were concerned about the longevity of financial advisory as a career path. We eased their minds by explaining the role of Financial Advisers and that although artificial intelligence is taking over many jobs, this is one career that requires human interaction as the human element of emotion is vital.
It was important for us to walk away leaving the students with the insight that technology can easily replace jobs that are monotonous and predictable. However, financial advisory is not, and people’s lives are not quantifiable.