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Building Careers in Wealth Management - Advisory Careers

In 2019, a group of professors led by Luke Dean, CFP, Program Director at Utah Valley University, Nathan Harness, Ph.D., CFP, Program Director at Texas A&M,  Craig Lemoine, Ph.D., CFP, Program Director at the University of Illinois, and Martin Seay, Ph.D., CFP, Department Head at Kansas State University, created the 12 Tribes of Financial Planning.

The professors discussed why and how they developed the model in an episode of the podcast “You’re a Financial Planner… Now What?”

They outlined the 12 Tribes model as a resource for students and professionals looking for career direction within the industry. The diagram depicting the 12 Tribes is a circle divided into three sections or groups, with four tribes in each, pictured below:

On Monday, April 3, we’re hosting a Forum on Building Careers in Wealth Management – Advisory Careers. It’s the first in a series of Forums dedicated to the 12 Tribes of Financial Planning model happening throughout the remainder of the year.

Our Forum speakers are:

  • Chuck Mischley | Panelist, Director, Talent Acquisition, at Nationwide
  • Emily Platt, CFP® | Panelist, Assistant Vice President, Investments, at Wealthspire
  • Kate Mielitz, PhD | Panelist, Special Programs Manager, at AFCPE
  • Luke Dean | Moderator, Professor at Utah Valley University, and co-author of the 12 Tribes of Financial Planning Model

Let’s take a closer look at Advisory Careers and what will be discussed at the Forum.

What is an advisory career?

One grouping of tribes includes advisory careers, such as registered investment advisors (RIAs), accounting and tax firms, counseling, government, academia, and research.

According to the model, this group is excellent for people-persons, project managers, and operators due to the attributes of advisory careers.

The other groupings in the model display traditional careers and future careers.

What are the attributes of advisory careers?

According to the 12 Tribes Model, the attributes of advisory careers are:

  • A defined career path
  • Salaried positions
  • Development and training
  • Less name recognition
  • High sector growth
  • Mentorship

When considering a career in wealth management, take a closer look at the career attributes of each sector. A defined career journey — as seen in advisory careers — may be best for those looking for a clear path instead of having to carve their own.

But it’s also important to remember that each tribe has nuances that can make for a different experience.

For example, the experience of having a career at an RIA firm depends on the firm’s size. Either way, most RIA firms are assembled similarly to a law firm in that you start in an entry-level role and work your way up to being a partner. RIA firms are often client-focused, which is suitable for people-persons.

Accounting and tax RIA firms often hire CFPs, and the focus is also on the client (often referred from the parent tax company).

As for financial counseling, this career could go in several different directions, from working with consumer credit to helping military families. Part-time and full-time jobs and many other channels are available in terms of clientele.

Government, academia, and research organizations offer financial planning graduates policy-making, literacy, and advocacy opportunities.

As you can see, there are several opportunities within one grouping, all based on a small list of career attributes.

Various career paths within the sector

Although the groupings and tribes have differences, they also share similarities.

During a typical wealth management career, one person may work within several tribes before finding the right fit — even if it’s not in the same grouping.

For example, if you try a career within one tribe and it’s not quite your dream job, you might consider moving to a different tribe instead of leaving the industry entirely.

The goal of the 12 Tribes model is to help those looking for a career in the industry by reducing confusion and pointing them toward where their skills are best fit.

To learn more about the 12 Tribes model, visit our Resource Library, and don’t forget to register for our April Forum: Building Careers in Wealth Management – Advisory Careers.