“In looking for someone to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. But the most important is integrity, because if they don’t have that, the other two qualities, intelligence and energy, are going to kill you.” – Warren Buffet.
I saw that quote online recently and it sort of summarise my exciting month of September & October. Every industry is a merry-go-round. You may be working with one company today and working for your competitor tomorrow. This is especially true in the financial sector these days where companies are throwing big buyout packages to get experience advisors like myself and my team to jump ship.
A few recruiters from the various tied insurance companies spoke with me recently. The largest buyout and incentive package would be close to 300% of my remuneration last year spreading over the next 1 yr or so . What this translate into is I will take 1 year to acheive my 3 years income just by moving to the new place.
The money is really tempting. Afterall, that’s the main reason why everyone work. While monetary gains are important, there are some beliefs and values that has to be placed above it. I am not saying the tied agency model is bad but I am able to deliever a better advice recommendation to solve my client’s financial situation. In a tied agency, I can only use insurance plans to solve your objective of fund accumulation for retirement or education. In a independent environment, I can use the same insurance plan in addition to several range of other class of financial tools to solve the same issue more effectively.
Although a few insurers are paying big bucks, I am not comfortable with their products. I am not condeming the company but I think some of the products can be better aligned to the client’s benefit. I am in the financial sales industry for more than 10 years and with the sales experience I had gain, I am quite confident that I can sell ice to an eskimo. I can still sell those products as mentioned earlier if I go to a tied environment but I know I cannot sleep in peace because I know there are better choices for my client.
I had left a tied environment a few years back. I was able to convince myself to lose all my comfortable renewal income and start all over from scratch from my current independent firm. There are 101 reasons to move from a tied agency to an independent advisory environment. To move from an independent advisory environment to a tied, there can only be one reason – Money!
I asked myself what will I lose by staying as an IFA, the answer is only Money . I also ask what to I gain by leaving? The answer is also Money but I will lose much more than that…my belief and my values.
After much deliberation, I decided that I should stay on in an Independent Financial Advisory firm. I thank my colleagues who had share their wisdom with me, regardless its for or against the move. I also appologise to my family for not making the money I would had if I move on.