20 Years As A Financial Advisor

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[144] – The last two decades have flown by, and we can’t imagine how quickly the next 20 years will go.

In this episode, Jeremy Keil talks about the 20 years he has worked in financial services. He goes over what has and hasn’t changed, emphasizes the importance of having a financial plan in place, and stresses the value of education and creating a process to follow rather than relying on someone to make decisions for you. With a collaborative approach and a focus on helping clients make smart decisions for their future, Jeremy is dedicated to making retirement great for everyone.

Jeremy discusses:

  • What changes he has seen in the financial advice world over the past 20 years
  • What he learned about people and market behavior
  • How technology has made it easier for people to manage their money
  • Where he sees people making mistakes with their financial planning
  • What has kept him in the profession and what he enjoys most about being a financial advisor
  • What he anticipates the next 20 years will hold
  • And more

20 Years As A Financial Advisor

Time just flies by. The financial advice industry has undergone significant changes over the past 20 years. After 2 decades of being a financial advisor, I’ve seen what has and hasn’t changed, the importance of having a plan ahead of time, learned a lot about people, where they’re making common financial mistakes, and seen the impact of technology on financial planning.

What Has And Hasn’t Changed In Personal Finance Over The Past 20 Years

Over the past 20 years, the financial advice world has undergone some shifts, but the changes haven’t been as significant as anticipated. Initially, I thought that as a financial advisor, my role would revolve around convincing individuals to move their funds from banks to the stock market, with the goal of outperforming it. However, the focus has shifted towards helping clients make decisions that are unrelated to specific stock or bond purchases. Instead, the emphasis lies in guiding individuals to make choices that align with their own behaviors and beliefs. These decisions involve factors such as retirement timing, life expectancy, and pension options, rather than solely relying on the performance of individual stocks.

Why Do I Need To Have A Plan For Retirement Ahead Of Time?

Over the past 20 years, one consistent lesson I’ve learned is the importance of having a well-prepared plan in place. Regardless of the specific year or market conditions, people often harbor concerns and fears about their finances, primarily influenced by external factors such as stock market fluctuations or political developments.

However, it’s crucial to recognize that the majority of the impact on your financial outcomes stems from your own choices and decisions. For instance, during market downturns, if you don’t need immediate access to your investments, withdrawing funds hastily might not be the wisest decision. Similarly, waiting until retirement to make significant changes to your financial setup is a risky approach.

Instead, be proactive and establish a comprehensive plan in advance.

In my experience, people who were prepared ahead of time, irrespective of market volatility or political shifts, experienced fewer worries and greater peace of mind. By having a plan in place, you can navigate through uncertainties with confidence and adapt as needed, ensuring a more comfortable financial journey.

What Have I Learned About People When It Comes To Financial Planning?

Over the past two decades, I’ve learned a lot about people and their behaviors. Initially, I thought my main role would revolve around providing individuals with the best strategies for managing their money and making optimal financial decisions. However, I soon discovered that the greater challenge lies in motivating individuals to actually implement these strategies and take the necessary actions.

While the first puzzle of determining what to do with money can be solved with research and mathematical analysis, the more complex puzzle is understanding how to encourage individuals to follow through with the actions they should take.

People tend to crave certainty, but financial planning involves dealing with probabilities rather than guarantees. I have learned the importance of explaining these probabilities to clients, helping them understand that it is not about gambling or random chance. By educating them about the likelihood of success and making informed choices based on probabilities, people can navigate their financial journeys with a higher degree of confidence and alignment with their long-term goals.

Has Technology Made Financial Planning Easier Or Harder?

The advancements in technology have undoubtedly made dealing with financial matters easier in many ways. With the advent of electronic platforms and tools, managing money has become more convenient and efficient.

In the past, tasks like transferring funds or completing paperwork required manual processes and extensive wait times. However, today, individuals can simply go online and perform various financial transactions with a few clicks. 

Electronic signatures through platforms like DocuSign have also streamlined the paperwork process. While technology has made it easier to handle money, it has also made it easier for people with bad intentions to commit fraud. It’s important to stay informed and vigilantly monitor financial activities to protect your finances.

Where Are People Making Financial Mistakes?

One area where I often see clients make financial mistakes is in their vulnerability to promises that sound too good to be true.

Some may be inclined to wait for someone who guarantees them high returns on their investments, even if it seems unrealistic. This desire for quick and extraordinary gains can lead them to fall prey to people with bad intentions who deceive them. It is important to recognize that if something appears too good to be true, it likely is. 

Another common mistake lies in the misunderstanding of short-term and long-term financial goals. Many people fail to distinguish between the money needed in the near future and that required for long-term purposes. While a long-term perspective allows for tolerating market fluctuations, as individuals approach retirement, some believe that all their funds need to be readily accessible. They don’t. It’s important to understand the difference between short-term and long-term money and align appropriate solutions for each.

Additionally, the desire to “get rich quick” can lead people to chase speculative investments or trends. Whether it’s tech stocks in the late ’90s or cryptocurrencies today, people often succumb to the temptation of getting rich quickly. Make sure you evaluate current circumstances and focus on investments that are likely to yield favorable results in the next decade rather than relying on past successes.

What Do You Like Most About Being A Financial Advisor?

My favorite part about being a financial advisor is being able to help people navigate the complexities of their financial lives. The ever-changing landscape of financial markets, tax laws, and interest rates can be overwhelming, especially with the advancement of technology and the multitude of options available. 

I find fulfillment in staying up to date with these changes and using my knowledge to help others. Whether it’s finding the best interest rates, optimizing tax strategies, or making informed decisions about retirement plans and social security, I love educating clients and helping them understand their financial situations better.

What has kept me in the profession is the rewarding experience of meeting new clients and witnessing their realization that they have gained more knowledge about their money in just one hour with me than in years with their previous advisors. It makes me want to continue providing information and guidance to more people who need it.

What Can We Predict For The Next 20 Years In Personal Finance?

In the next 20 years, I plan to continue sharing my knowledge, educating people about their finances, and creating networks to support them better.

My goal will be to educate clients on the changing landscape of the financial world and guide them through a well-defined process tailored to their retirement needs. This process will involve collaborating with a network of experts who specialize in different areas to ensure clients receive the best support. The advisor-client experience is evolving from relying solely on a single advisor to embracing a network-based approach, where the emphasis is placed on following a proven process rather than relying on a specific individual.

By prioritizing education, implementing a comprehensive process, and connecting clients with qualified professionals at each step, we can maximize the likelihood of creating a successful financial plan. A collaborative approach ensures clients receive ongoing support and guidance as they navigate their financial journeys.


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