A Day in the Life of a Wealth Adviser
Someone alerted me to a piece from Business Insider, A day in the life of an equity sales leader at UBS in Sydney that featured a young Sydney trader. You need "tenacity", the article says.
It reminded me of another magazine piece that hit our inbox in 2007 featuring yet another young stockbroker that was working at Tricom. It was an absolute BEAUTY! Let's just say the industry loved it! "Compliant, Professional and Humble!" it said.
So, it's only fair you learn about my day...
A Day in the Life of a Wealth Adviser
I have 3 alarm clocks. I can't set them or press snooze. They go off mostly between 2am and 6am. Sometimes all at once. 6am I'm a 6am guy. I check my Twitter feed (it's a bad habit... I know, but I normally like articles I want to read later). Shower. Dress. Pop a muesli bar, banana & apple in my bag and then walk to the train station whilst listening to a business podcast (although during September or trade period, it's SEN 1116). On the train I'll firstly cleanse the inbox by reading and deleting emails, and set aside emails to respond to when I get into the office. Then I'll continue listening to the podcast or reading the book I'm currently engaged with. To the frustration of the CEO of the Household, all the books I read are business related. Although she did ask me to read 'The Husbands Secret' which I did...4 years ago! (Just finished Black Edge - review coming soon. Currently reading Richard Branson's newest biography Finding My Virginity...what a guy!) If I'm enjoying the podcast and it's a nice morning, I'll get off at Jolimont Station and walk to Collins Street. My coffee is a strong 3/4 latte. Double shot with a touch of milk, no sugar. I think Chris Judd once said, 'no such thing as a strong coffee, only weak people'. My colleague 'Horns' (for those new to the list, he's name is Mark, but he's always bullish so I call him Horns) introduced me to the Bullet-proof coffee. I had one today. I highly recommend them. Instead of an initial jolt you normally get from an ordinary coffee, this kicks in after an hour or so and provides sustainable jolting, for a lack of a better term. Elevator etiquette in our building is important. If you're not holding the elevator door open for someone who is rushing towards you in a desperate attempt to catch the same lift as you, because the 17 seconds they have to wait to catch the next is too long, you have to pretend like you're pressing the right button for the doors to stay open when really you're not (did I say that out loud?).
I turn my computer on. Set my templates up (programs & websites) and check my to-do list from the day before. If it's urgent - like contacting a client - I do it straight away and then I respond to emails. The next few hours (before the market opens) is dedicated to scanning/reading whilst answering phone calls. No such thing as information overload, just filter failure. What do I read? No particular order.
During reporting season (we are in the midst of it) there are plenty of company presentations, announcements and broker reports. I normally jot down notes as I go along. I have to leave this sometimes and continue it in the afternoon. I don't normally attend the morning meeting (I do listen to it at times though) and at approximately 9:10am, I'll usually get a quick call from the CEO of the Household as she is walking back from taking James to school telling me something cute (or naughty!) he did. 10am I'll monitor the market open and sort companies on their daily percentage +/- movements. We tend to yell out a few names and ideas amongst ourselves in the office around this time of day. "Have you seen XYZ!" "Anything caught your eye?" That type of thing. Sometimes, the office resembles a library. No, it's very important to understand, that our office does NOT look like below!
If it's newsletter day, I start writing my newsletter around this time. If it's not, I attend to the list of clients that I've scheduled to contact. Working through the portfolios can take up to an hour, or up to 3 hours depending on the interruptions from incoming calls. Lunchtime Four options for lunch. I catch up with a client/mate or dad for lunch, eat at my desk, go for a run (normally twice a week) and then eat at my desk, or attend a company presentation. Frankie, our office manager, gets the best sandwiches in the CBD. There is a box normally placed in front of the company's management and a few boxes on the counter for us. Believe you me, there have been times when management have disappointed shareholders repeatedly, that I wish I could walk up to their side of the table and yank the sandwiches from under them - "No Sandwiches For You! Come Back One Year" Sandwich Nazi!
Whilst I run, I listen to a business podcast. Not a music type of guy, I don't have a melody in my body unfortunately. The only thing is, it's frustrating sometimes, because I will listen to something I really want to retain and I have to remember what minute of the podcast it was at when I heard it. Afternoons Most days I grab myself another coffee and continue contacting clients. Some days are busier than others, it's all about time optimization. If it's quiet on the client communication front, it's a great opportunity to explore business development ideas. Some days I might continue to reading. Mostly however, it's client interaction. Usually at time I eat that apple I popped in my bag. Market Close It is around 4pm that I normally get the text - "What time do you think you'll be home today?" This is code for: "Kids are going crazy! They've broken into the Milo. Jack has managed to get PlayDoh stuck in the carpet and for some reason James is topless and is really, really keen on baking! By the way, I think Genevieve now knows how to unlock the back door". At around 4:20pm I'm writing my to do list for the next day and soon after, I'm on the train. Evening Once I'm home, I put my phone in the bedroom, change out of my suit as soon as I possibly can and get ready to either start cooking or play zone defense. We encourage reading and writing time (we're lucky that James loves reading) but as my dad always says, "Not every day is the same". Yesterday is a good example. Marisa was cooking, Jack insisted I blow up the inflatable swimming pool. Not because he wanted to swim, but because he has a fascination with blowing things up and then squashing them flat again. He calls the process "busting". This is him waiting for the Whale to "bust" on the weekend instead of admiring the animals at the Melbourne Zoo.
Once the kids go to bed, this can be anytime between 8:30pm to 10pm (Night Owls!), I then do some business development work or read. This normally involves my iPad, notebook and sometime a gin and tonic. I'm constantly jotting down ideas, how I can improve communication with clients, looking at how others are doing it and see whether I have the capabilities of cloning it. How to allocate capital and communicate to clients is at the forefront of my mind. I might also read some articles I've printed out during the day or continuing reading my book. I like reading hard copies if I can. I'm currently brainstorming ideas on a new book I'm thinking of writing. Then the CEO of the Household might yell out, "I think we need bread and milk! Oh, and nappies." Yeap, then a trip to Coles to finish it all off. If it's a Friday or the weekend, there is a good chance I'll be watching the footy, much to the CEO of the Household's frustration. Sometimes we'll watch a show or movie on Netflix - we've recently been knocking down a few episodes of Jerry Seinfeld's Comedian in Cars. Many of you might have also received emails from me on the weekend, which is required sometimes. Just about every person I speak to about kids say, "Enjoy it now, this is the best time!" Everyone can't be wrong. Hence, I have a bias to ensuring I'm home at a reasonable time and being a big part of the their lives. Work-Life balance, something I really struggled with in my entire 20's, is really important to me right now. When they're all teenagers and have different priorities - I'm guessing that balance tilt will change again. So what do you need in the day of a wealth adviser? Sleep would be nice, but a decent coffee, concentration, no fat fingers (when putting client orders on), genuine empathy and care for the people who have entrusted you with their money and towards the end of the day, a CEO of the Household, patience more than anything, with a touch of stamina. I don't consider what I do to be work. Truth is, it's a team effort! It always is!