Over Age 50? Consider a Second Career as a Financial Advisor

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Growing cadre of baby boomers value life experience over advance degrees and youth, says Paul Mauro CLU, ChFC, whose Legacy Financial Advisors, Inc. in Milford, MA, is part an industry trend toward recruiting candidates in their 50s and 60s for second careers as financial planning professionals.

Clients of national firms tend to be more loyal to the corporate brand, while in a smaller firm clients identify more closely with their individual advisor

Financial planning professionals are needed to serve the growing number of baby-boomers. This age group feels more comfortable with advice on money from professionals who are about the same age.

Financial Advisors with a “Ph.D. in Life…”

Legacy Financial Advisors, Inc. (http://www.lfsadvisors.com) of Milford, MA, now recruits second careerists age 50-plus. “Our clients are 50 to 75 years old. They do not relate well to young professionals with fresh degrees and new suits. They regard their advice on financial and estate planning as theoretical,” explains Legacy CEO Paul J. Mauro, CLU, ChFC, adding, “To our clients, a Ph.D. in life is more valuable than an MBA.”

Mauro notes, “Mature career changers draw from professional and business experience and have lived life’s passages -- aging, supporting college-age children, caring for aging parents and making their own retirement lifestyle decisions.”

To qualify, one must first complete coursework and exams, typically becoming either a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) or Certified Financial Planner (CFP). Depending on the amount of assets under management, Financial Planners must also register with the Securities and Exchange Commission or state as a Registered Investment Advisor.

The American College offers an advanced degree as a ChFC. Courses are available on a self-study basis, online or at its Bryn Mawr, PA campus. For details, visit http://www.theamericancollege.edu.

CFPs meet the requirements of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards in Denver, CO. CFP is a service mark requiring an annual fee to maintain the title. For details, visit http://www.cfp.net.

Mauro recommends, “Join a financial firm before starting formal education. You won’t be able to advise clients, but the industry exposure is invaluable.” Size matters. Large national firms, such as John Hancock and Ameriprise, have powerful brand identities. Smaller firms, such as Legacy, tailor business practices to regional mores.

“Clients of national firms tend to be more loyal to the corporate brand, while in a smaller firm clients identify more closely with their individual advisor,” says Mauro.

It takes six months to a year before one can expect to earn income as a financial professional. However, unlike many other second careers, financial planning does not equate to lower income -- going from, say, corporate counsel to law professor.

Jim Mack, based in Yarmouth Port, MA, began working with Legacy four years ago. He says, “My wife and I started out 30 years ago without a dime and have raised children, bought and sold houses and cared for aging parents. I’ve had a corporate career and owned small businesses. We now own a home on the Cape and a condo in Hilton Head. I’ve done what my clients want to achieve and have life experiences to draw from --- including my mistakes. That makes me valuable to them.”

Mauro urges those considering a second career as a financial planner to ask eight questions. Am I …

  •     able to invest six months or more without earning income?
  •     willing to participate in formal classes?
  •     comfortable maintaining professional contacts and networking?
  •     willing to work as a team member?
  •     willing to ask others if you don’t know the answer?
  •     able to focus on professional goals even if it cuts into family time?
  •     comfortable working with individuals, especially if earlier professional relationships have all been on a business-to-business basis?
  •     assessing my own financial, personal and retirement lifestyle decisions before embarking on a second career?

Legacy Financial Advisors, Inc. (http://www.lfsadvisors.com) has over 30 years of experience helping families with retirement, aging issues and estate planning and was featured in the PBS special "And Thou Shalt Honor" broadcast by WGBH-TV. Its six Massachusetts offices are in Milford, Waltham, Yarmouth Port, Natick, Peabody, and Braintree. Other Legacy representatives are located in Rhode Island, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida and Texas. Securities are offered through Legacy Financial Services, member NASD/SIPC.

Legacy Financial Advisors, Inc., 321 Fortune Blvd., Milford, MA 01757

tel. 800-427-9781

This information is for educational purposes only. Before you buy, sell, or act on any of this information, please meet with a financial advisor about your specific situation. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Read the prospectus before you invest in any security. All information is gathered from sources believed to be accurate, however we do not warrant or guarantee their accuracy.


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Dick Pirozzolo