Even Advisors Feel Blue: Managing Stress as a Financial Advisor | Financial advisors

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Financial advisors can be more stressed than their clients. According to a study by the Financial Planning Association, 63% of investors experience high or moderate stress, while 71% of advisors admit to being stressed.

The amount of stress also appears to be increasing for much of the profession: 28% of financial advisors said they were more stressed than the previous year, and 44% said they were more stressed than five years earlier. These numbers were also lower for customers.

One area that may have worsened in recent years is the effects of stress on health. In the FPA study, conducted just before the COVID-19 pandemic, 46% of respondents said that stress negatively affects their health. Several other studies have shown that up to 90% of doctor visits in the United States are for stress-related conditions, ranging from anxiety and depression to heart disease. The pandemic, recent inflation and market volatility have only increased people’s stress levels.

Financial advisors are human, like everyone else, and they deal with difficult personal and professional situations that can lead to stress and even health issues. But what can they do about it? Here are some ways financial advisors can manage stress and ensure optimal physical and mental well-being, both at work and in their personal lives:

  • Identify stressors.
  • Control what can be controlled.
  • Accept what cannot be controlled.
  • Plan and organize.
  • Strive to balance work and private life.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Adopt a positive attitude.
  • Seek happiness in life.

Identify stressors

Some of the stressors cited by respondents to the Financial Planning Association study were: regulatory compliance, cost compression, reduced margins, increased competition, health and business prospects. business, maintaining work-life balance, poor business planning, an uncertain financial environment and failure to achieve goals.

Financial advisors need to be realistic about their personal situation and acknowledge their stressors. The first step towards solving a problem is to identify it as such. Being honest with yourself about the causes of your stress is a key first step towards physical and mental well-being.

Control what can be controlled

Advisors have a level of control over how some of the above stressors affect them on a day-to-day basis. Planning activities and steps towards achieving goals, for example, can be more efficient and productive. So, to reduce stress, counselors need to take charge and make adjustments to control what can be controlled.

New processes or organizational strategies can be put in place to take some guesswork out of day-to-day operations, and delegating certain tasks to appropriate staff members or outsourcing to other professionals can ease some of the workload.

Accept what cannot be controlled

Certain stressors, of course, are not fully controllable by counsellors. For example, advisors may be able to anticipate and adapt to government regulations, but they do not control what the government will require at any given time.

Market downturns and recessions will impact client wallets despite the best plans. Lower fees, increased competition, and the higher cost of doing business are also factors that result from the competitive free market. Advisors can do their best to adapt to such situations, but they cannot control them.

Rather than panicking in less than optimal conditions or being reluctant to change, advisors can focus on putting mechanisms in place that will limit their company’s vulnerability in the future.

Plan and organize

Conscientious engagement in business planning is an example of how to avoid stress. Advisors can create detailed plans for their clients, but they often forget that they have to plan their own business and their lives.

Without a planning strategy, advisors can become disorganized and struggle to execute tasks that lead to goal achievement, two things that increase stress and cause burnout. Plan ahead and stick to the plan.

Seek work-life balance

Work-life balance doesn’t just happen out of thin air. It takes effort and discipline. Some people do this by making sure they don’t bring work home, or even turning off their phones during family time. For some, that means no weekend work, or no calls or emails from work during vacations and holidays.

There are no hard and fast rules here. The key is to spend more time with the people you care about, and that takes planning and commitment.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Living a healthy life is also a choice counselors can make to reduce stress and burnout. This can include sleeping well, taking an afternoon nap, exercising regularly, taking evening walks, eating well, and spending quality time with friends and family.

All of these practices will improve the physical and mental health of counsellors. And with better well-being comes greater productivity.

Adopt a positive attitude

Life isn’t butterflies and rainbows for most people, but a generally positive approach to life that accepts hardship as part of the human experience can be valuable. Another way to put it is that advisors need to adopt an “expect the best and prepare for the worst” mentality. This approach helps on several fronts: it’s optimistic because you expect better results, but it’s also realistic because it accepts that sometimes things don’t work out as expected.

Positivity will help counselors stay motivated and hopeful, and preparing for the worst can help avoid shock when bad things happen. This approach also helps advisers stay in the right frame of mind to seek solutions to problems rather than being overwhelmed by them.

Seek happiness in life

Different things make different people happy, and counselors should try to identify their recipe for happiness and spend more time adding ingredients. If it includes time with loved ones, they should make a conscious effort to spend more time with them. If it includes volunteering for a charity, they should put specific blocks of time on their schedule.

A happy life not only thwarts stress and boredom, but it also makes overcoming difficult situations a less daunting task.

Yes, even counselors are blue, but by identifying stressors, controlling what can be controlled, and responding well to what cannot be controlled, they can live in physical and mental harmony. And not only advisors will reap the benefits, but also their clients.

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