Day in the life of
Wealth Advisor – Jim Eutsler, CFP®, ChFC®, CMA
My Typical Day
My typical workday involves meeting with clients to discuss if they are on track for their retirement date, or if they are retired, how their life is going in retirement.
Other than meetings with clients, what other activities do you do as a Wealth Advisor?
I meet with clients in person, over Zoom, and have phone calls with them. Some interactions are more or less routine such as a portfolio discussion or market update. Others are specific to an event happening in a clients life such as retirement, buying or selling a home, receiving an inheritance, etc.
After a client interaction, I go into our software system and input my meeting notes as well as assign any follow-up actions to either our trading team or operations group, depending on any action item needed on my end coming out of the meeting. I work in tax planning software to optimize tax bracket income management for clients as well. I assess prospective client risk profiles to help in the discussion of what asset allocation makes the most sense for them when they become clients of our firm. I work through retirement planning software which utilizes Monte Carlo analysis to build out client retirement plans that we then go over in our meetings.
I have also conducted educational seminars to help teach prospective clients the benefits of working with a wealth advisor.
One of the pros of this job is that you directly have an impact on someone’s life and in some instances, you can see worry and concern melt away from them right there in the meeting. I’ve had people who are very stressed at work come in and feel they have years to go before they can retire, however, upon running an analysis of their situation, they could retire that day and be just fine. Others have had stomach knots worrying about debt or whether they could afford a particular purchase and after talking them through the best way to handle it, they literally cried in relief.
One of the cons of the job is that sometimes you must have difficult conversations with someone who had wanted to retire early that their plan and/or lifestyle will not support doing that.
Another con is that clients often expect portfolio returns that are not sustainable on a going basis and conversations occasionally must be had to calibrate return expectations, especially during volatile markets.
Advice to aspiring Wealth Advisors
Common traits of successful wealth advisors are a love of numbers and the ability to connect and be empathetic with people. I say a love of numbers as you have to be comfortable understanding the effects of compound interest, be able to relay the meaning of charts to clients who don’t understand the broader economy, and be able to respond to general questions such as ‘should I lease a car or buy it?’ or ‘should I refinance my home now?’ without having to always say “I need to get back to you on this”. Connecting with people and showing empathy are important because at the end of the day, as a wealth advisor, you are in a relationship business. Yes, you have to be technically competent, but many people pick an advisor based on how well they connect with them. Empathetic because money is a deeply personal topic for most people – some share information with you they haven’t shared with anyone else in their life. I’ve had clients cry in meetings, both with happiness and sadness, as we discuss their financial future. They often look to you for answers and sometimes the lines can blur in your role between wealth advisor and counselor. The most common college majors are likely Business – specifically finance and/or accounting. Designations would typically come once you are in the business.
advise clients on financial plans using knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, insurance, pension plans, and real estate. Duties include assessing clients' assets, liabilities, cash flow, insurance coverage, tax status, and financial objectives. May also buy and sell financial assets for clients.