Published April 25, 2018
Think about your day-to-day life. Do you keep a frantic pace trying to accomplish all of the duties on your to-do list? Wouldn’t it be great if you had another pair of hands? A “right-hand man”? An assistant? From large firms to small, we all have days where it feels as though we’ll never get it all done. While funds and the natural ebb and flow of business may not allow for additional full-time employees, an intern could relieve some pressure and offer additional benefits for the future of your financial advisory practice.
Close the Generational Gap
In a recent blog we explored at length the opportunity that may exist in the ever-growing group of millennial investors. If your firm has yet to discover a way to market to and reach these millennials, an intern could open new doors for you by attracting younger clients and generating ideas by brainstorming. Taking the time to gain insight from a college student could spark creativity in your marketing efforts and interactions with this generation. In addition, as you meet potential interns and work alongside emerging financial planners, you might uncover someone who can help sustain your business when it’s time for you to leave the industry.
This is one of the most common reasons advisors cite as their motivation for hiring an intern. In reality, there are numerous tasks you complete on a daily basis that could be handled by someone else, freeing you up to focus on managing your firm, larger initiative projects, and client service. Every advisor has tasks they never seem to get to. High priority deadlines and meetings likely take up your time each day leaving some of the smaller, yet still important, tasks undone. While interns may not be able to craft strategic retirement plans or manage investments, there are many activities they could take off your plate.
Potential Tasks for Interns
- Upload documents to client portals
- Plan a client event (think drafting email invites, and planning logistics)
- Help clients gain access to their accounts and learn to navigate basic dashboards
- Compile basic data to update or maintain client records
- Build and organize presentations
- Create office procedures to help increase efficiencies
- Research and Reporting
Keep in mind that the benefits of an intern can go far beyond simply getting more work done in a day. While you’re investing in the next generation, you’re also investing in the future of the financial industry overall. College students will gain valuable experience that prepares and equips them for what lies ahead post graduation. You might be surprised at what capabilities they bring to the table. College students may not have the seasoned expertise of your senior financial advisors, but they possess a sharp new outlook and advanced technology skills. Their approach may encourage you to get outside the box and think creatively when it comes to what you can provide for your clients. Hiring and training interns also speaks volumes about the progressive nature of your firm and your ability to adapt and serve clients throughout their life transitions.
So why don’t many financial advisors hire interns regularly? Some have concerns about hiring qualified candidates, or don’t know where to find them. Maybe you aren’t sure about how to utilize them in a productive manner, or are concerned about what your clients might think. These concerns are all addressed for advisors who are a part of the PAG family. LPL Financial and Private Advisor Group have created an internship program for qualified students to become LPL certified as a digital office specialist. This online program teaches interns the basics of leveraging our independent advisors’ operating system. Private Advisor Group fully trains them and markets them directly to our network of 600+ advisors. For more information about the program or Private Advisor Group, visit our website.