Friday, April 06, 2012

People Lie About Wanting Financial Advice From Ex-Military

I don't enjoy being angry.  I read something today that made me boiling mad.  Some survey claims that Americans value military veterans as financial advisers, and that this estimation increases with a respondent's affluence.  I need to state for the record that nothing could be further from the truth.

I spent over a year as a financial advisor at a major wealth management firm.  I worked harder than I ever have in my life to acquire clients.  Every prospect I encountered - with two exceptions - completely ignored my military experience as a selling point for my abilities.  The two exceptions were unique; one had very little liquid net worth to invest and the other was a phony who had zero net worth.  All of the other prospects regarded my military background as something to disregard.

People with serious money to invest want it managed by someone who's achieved a comparable level of success.  I find it telling that the Edward Jones survey above mentioned households with incomes of $100K or so.  I hate to break this to the 1300 ex-military advisors they employ, but their careers will be short if they focus on acquiring people at that income level.  Wealth management firms are increasingly discarding advisors who pursue clients with net worth under $1M.  Making $100K/year isn't going to get anyone to millionaire status in an America beset by price inflation, equity overvaluation, creeping hyperinflation, and a rapacious elite bent on regulatory capture and financial repression.

I employed all of my military-acquired skills to establish trust, build rapport, demonstrate an extreme work ethic, prove my integrity, and persevere in the face of adversity.  All of those traits turned off people with serious money.  All of those attributes got me terminated.  Most veterans hired as financial advisors don't realize that they're just filling an affirmative action quota and will be gone in a year.  That's why brokerages can afford to brag that some percent of their sales force is comprised of veterans.  They know that annual turnover for lack of production enables them to keep hiring and firing unsuspecting veterans over and over again.  Americans who say they want military veterans as financial advisors probably don't make enough money to afford an advisor in the first place.  Too many people just don't know what they're talking about.