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How we can get more young people into financial planning

By Bryce Clark, Wellington Wealth

I am new around here and so far, I am loving it.

That is exactly why I want to promote this corner of the financial services industry.

However, there is a problem. Our profession is having an identity crisis of sorts. Not from the people within the industry but from the wider society. They misunderstand our purpose and with that said, the fate of our profession is in your hands.

Okay, perhaps that is a bit direct, but it is no joke that the future of our profession is in the hands of us, the ones in the profession. No one else can promote our industry like we can, we all know how good this profession is, but we need to continue to broadcast to a wider audience.

My generational experience

To give some background, I left high school with no job, no university offer and an unjustifiably inflated ego. After a bit of post-teen soul-searching, I concluded that I wanted to be successful. My passion being that of helping others to achieve their goals and I would try to shape my life around exactly that. So, naturally, I chose a career in finance.

Fortunately for me, there was a large pension provider near my hometown, and after waffling my way through an interview, I was hired in the back office. This is where I started noticing financial planners and after some research, my goals were quickly shut down by the large corporate companies looking for university graduates and the requirement of a bachelor’s degree.

This experience is shared by many my age. As university is becoming less common, we need to be promoting the profession of financial planning and motivating young people to get involved. There are so many young, intelligent and motivated people out there begging for an opportunity to begin their career in finance.

Turning Barriers into opportunities

That is when I found the NextGen Planners Podcast. I heard stories of people like me who had not been to university but still qualified as planners and went on to prosper in the profession. After 3 years, I decided it was finally my time to take the leap towards becoming a financial planner, and as they say - ‘easier said than done!’.

Having no degree and very little experience in the industry proved harmful to my prospects of becoming a financial planner. All the offices advertising basic administration roles required a competence of IO or some other adviser interface. Not only that, but most had some expectations that the candidate would have experience in financial planning.

For young people, we rely on companies to sponsor us through exams. For a young person to fund their whole exam journey is nigh-on impossible. I am not completely ignorant to the fact that making a big financial commitment to a new young employee is a risky investment for a business owner. Yet, we cannot risk losing out on young, intelligent professionals due to lack of experience and financial barriers.

It's not all doom and gloom

After going through three long-winded unsuccessful application processes and sending my CV to over sixty offices in the UK (with six responses), I was extremely fortunate to be given the opportunity to join Wellington Wealth and start studying towards my Diploma to become a financial planner.

So, what can you do to help create opportunities for younger people?

  • Engage in social media to promote your career online. Half the reason we have a lack of new people coming into the industry is because most young people have no clue what financial planning is.

  • If you can, promote work experience in your office to young people. Be open to the opportunities young people can bring to your business and the perspective a new set of eyes from a different generation can bring.

This is my experience so far, and whilst it might not have been the smoothest sailing, I wouldn’t of wanted it to go any other way.

Young people need to be given the opportunity to prosper in the financial planning profession. However, they cannot do so without being given the opportunities which you can provide.

With that said, what are you going to do to make a positive impact on the future of our profession?

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