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New Financial Advisors – The Pros and Cons of Working Solo

by | Aug 10, 2012 | High Attrition, New Financial Advisor

For Some New Financial Advisors, Solo is the Way to Go

New financial advisors face enough hurdles in their first 24 months — licensing requirements, developing new skills, information overload. It can be a lot to absorb. The last thing you want to do is complicate things by trying to take on too much, especially if you lose focus on obtaining new clients.

In my time as an advisor an a coach to advisors I have only seen a handful of advisors who are able to make a solo practice really work. Most have far too much unpaid work on their desks, or their lives are ruled by incoming service calls. Unless you are paid specifically for doing service work, you will want to steer clear of being completely on your own, even in the first 24 months.


Low overhead

The good part about being solo is the low overhead. You can work from your home or in a respectable key man office space. Since you are doing all the work you have no staff to pay.

No workflow issues

Again, since you are working by yourself you do not need to be so concerned with not knowing what is happening in your office.

No office politics

I know of many wage earners who love their jobs, but would trade-in their co-workers in a heartbeat.



It is pretty common to need to juggle reworking your calendar to fit in Mrs. Jones who wants to rearrange her appointment with you for afternoon on Friday even though you have a standing policy against taking clients on Friday afternoon; working on an analysis but getting interrupted by a service call at a critical point; writing a note about a client’s low priority issue that you plan on handling tomorrow after your analysis is done; placing a 48 minute phone call to tech support because your printer will not print the analysis you just finished; and looking for the handwritten note that you lost regarding the customer (can’t remember her name now) who called yesterday wanting her dividend option changed. All this can happen over the course of only a few hours. It can be a lot to remember. If you are good with details, you will get your chance to push your limits in this new role.


Some people simply enjoy a little camaraderie once in a while, so being on their own is quite easy for them. Others simply have a hard time working alone all day. These people crave interaction, and one more webcam meeting isn’t going to suffice. It has to be a live person-to-person meeting for it to count.