I took a few minutes this afternoon to catch up on some newsletter reading and found a link to an article over at financial-planning.com by Bob Veres on the top 10 worries of advisors. The set-up to the article is simple: he asked readers to respond to him with their top professional fears and he wrote about the main themes he heard in the responses he received.
What strikes me most about the results is that the vast majority of the worries or fears that advisors articulated are things over which they have no control. For example, eroding confidence in the investment system, fear of another economic meltdown, political irresponsibility, geopolitical issues, and constant tax changes are by and large, in my view, issues out of the control of the typical advisor. Other than lobbying for political changes, Joe and Jane Advisor won't lilely have any meaningful impact on any of these issues. While planning for possible events might be wise, the advisor actually worrying about these issues won't produce any meaningful result and won't add to the quality of the advisor's life - or the client's. So my question is simple: Why worry about these things?
It seems to me that an advisor's efforts - and worries - ought to be more focused and targeted on things for which the advisor has some level of control. Worry - and act on - your career, your compliance record, your ability to relate and connect to prospective clients, communication skills with PCs and clients, marketing plans, risk management issues, productivity and technology skills and use, developing and maintaining referral sources etc. When "worrying" over these items, you can identify specific, actionable steps to address the worries by working on your business instead of in it, and then will likely see positive returns in your satisfaction with your business.