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  • Tyrone Skipper

Why do IFA’s put each other down?


I got into this line of work because I was inspired and fascinated by the many components of retaining financial health, as well as the ways in which I could contribute as an advisor. Not to mention, I was enthralled by the prospect of helping people survive and thrive against very real economic challenges.


Somehow along the way, I found, however, that not everyone in this industry always sees eye-to-eye.

It may come as a surprise to learn that some IFA’s constantly put each other down and while there may be a number of factors that determine when or why they do this, it does not change the fact that this is a problem that should be understood and addressed for the sake of the industry as a whole.


Constant bickering ultimately does nobody any good and incessant battling between IFA’s doesn’t just hurt reputations (on both sides of the fence), it may also affect innocent bystanders, the clients that we pledge to protect, safeguard and serve, regardless of our personal biases or affiliations.


Getting caught up in a war between IFA's can hold things back and there’s nothing more selfish than putting innocent people in the line of fire when your job all along was to help them weather the storms of the financial landscape.


So why do IFA’s continue to indulge in this detrimental practice time and time again? Is it merely a tactic used to get ahead and what could be the underlying causes that seem to force sane, capable advisors to turn against one another?


Competitive or sly?

There’s a very thin line between being competitive and sneaky. The financial field is very competitive. Those who haven’t yet been deterred from pursuing a career as an advisor show an impressive amount of grit, discipline and determination, however, some advisors just take it overboard. There’s a difference between being a go-getter and being overly aggressive. When it comes to chasing milestones (especially when intimidated by other advisors), a vicious cycle of mistrust and paranoia can result if individual issues are not resolved.


These are the kinds of IFA's that you'll need to watch out for, because if they can't be trusted to control their emotions and not lash out against competitors or trash talk, what makes you think they'll be level-headed advisors, well-equipped to manage your finances?


Sheer desperation?

Let’s take a moment and give these IFA’s the benefit of the doubt. Let’s not assume that it is simply a malicious nature that has developed character traits that lend themselves to sabotage and mudslinging. A new white paper from SEI stated that imminent changes in demographics, technology and markets are influencing the way financial advisors interact with their clients. Could this also be affecting how they interact with each other?


“Financial planning is in the midst of a generational shift, among both financial planners themselves and the clients they serve,” Michael Kitces, head of research at a private wealth management firm and co-author of the white paper, said in a statement.


Maybe, it could just be that in this period of seemingly unprecedented technological transitions and demographic shifts, advisors are merely lashing out in desperation to keep themselves relevant by eliciting doubt against their competitors.


It could just be a case of a divide and conquer mindset prevailing in the industry but IFA’s need to come to the realisation that the pie really is big enough for all of us.


The financial services sector is an extremely dynamic and wonderfully complex landscape with a whole host of opportunities (as well as challenges).


In order to survive for as long as I have and thrive in the naturally competitive financial advisory marketplace, malicious tactics and turning against fellow advisors aren't going to get you very far.


Now is the time for solutions based on collaboration, productivity and seamless integration. Innovation and a dedication to the highest standards of service could just be how we all succeed and help ensure the wellbeing of the clients that rely on us.

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