Being a financial advisor comes with a lot of responsibility. A recent survey by Adhesion Wealth Advisor Solutions, an investment platform provider, found that nearly 80 percent of surveyed financial advisors rate their work-related stress levels at a 7 or higher (out of 10) and more than 60 percent say they’ve grown more stressed over the past year. The biggest culprits are “having responsibility for their clients’ futures” (52 percent peg it at level nine or 10), “marketing and building their businesses” (42 percent) and “client demands” (37 percent).
Asked if there were “major stressors” to be addressed in subsequent polls, half the respondents suggested work factors get in the way of “maintaining a healthy work-life balance.”
Everyone feels stressed from time to time. Some people may cope with stress more effectively or recover from stressful events quicker than others. It’s important to know your limits. Not all stress is bad. Research suggests that we are continually bombarded by physical and emotional demands or stimuli in our world. Every single one of us has a unique internal mechanism that realigns our body’s reaction to this stimuli and coping effectively. However, when faced with an event or thought (called a stressor) that overwhelms our ability to maintain this equilibrium, it can result in a negative physical, emotional, cognitive, and/or behavioral response.
“Advisors are in a unique situation in that they’re not just experiencing their own stress, but the stress of the client. We call it second-hand stress,” said Tracy White, director of Janus Labs in Denver.
If independent financial advisors do not get their stress under control, it will become a long-term health threat. When stress levels are high, productivity is lower and performance is poor. If advisors don’t fight it, they become emotionally and physically worn out. This affects mood, productivity, sales and the ability to prospect. Not to mention stress wreaks havoc on the body. The long-term impact of too much stress can be catastrophic, leading to high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, heart disease and a host of other ailments.
Health magazine named the profession among its 10 careers with the highest rates of depression, mainly because of the pressure that comes with “handling thousands or millions of dollars for other people.”
To help alleviate stress, White recommends the following behavioral strategies:
Make time throughout the day to take small breaks. Call a friend or listen to music. “Don’t just wait for the two-week vacation or the long weekend you’re going to take three months from now. It’s really about working it into your day,” she said.
Schedule meetings for 55 minutes – instead of 60. “What can happen is a lot of advisors go from one meeting to the next or from one phone call to the next and you’re kind of flat-lining throughout the day. As human beings we want to oscillate. Be cyclical,” she said.
Don’t forget to take breaks when you’re experiencing positive stress, too. Well-performing markets will also have an impact. So, remember to keep disengaging throughout the day when things are going well for clients, too, because too much positive stress can be taxing, as well.
Habits are easier to make than they are to break. It’s been said it takes 21 days to break a bad habit. Are you ready?
Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group, RCS Capital Corporation’s (NYSE: RCAP) retail investment advice platform.
This blog and website are for informational, educational and discussion purposes only, and the owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., Summit Financial Group Inc., and any of their affiliated entities and principals are not a law firms or an accounting firms, or substitutes for an attorney or accountant. Although topics may be discussed on this blog that may involve legal, accounting, or investment issues, nothing on this blog shall be deemed to constitute the practice of law, legal advice, investment advice, and/or tax advice. Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., and its affiliates do not, and cannot provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies. The content on this blog is “as is” and carries no warranties. You should consult an experienced professional regarding tax consequences of specific transactions.
No reader should act in reliance on anything discussed in this blog without prior consultation with a licensed professional who is qualified to evaluate the reader’s individual facts and circumstances and offer an informed professional opinion with respect thereto. If any reader takes action or makes decisions based solely on the information on this blog without prior consultation with a qualified, licensed professional, the reader does so at his or her own risk and agrees that Summit shall have no liability resulting from such unilateral action or decisions by the reader.
Summit makes every effort to provide accurate and truthful information in its posts on this blog, but in no way expressly or impliedly warrants or guarantees the accuracy of its postings and/or the information posted here by others. All information is believed to be from reliable sources, however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.