You’re a Financial Planner Now What? Give Career Changers a Jumpstart

Next Generation Planner: January 2021

 

Hannah Moore, CFP®
Owner and Principal Financial Planner, Guiding Wealth
Podcast Host,
You’re a Financial Planner…Now What?
www.linkedin.com/in/hannahmoorecfp/

Dominique Henderson, CFP®, is the founder of DJH Capital Management, a fee-only wealth management firm based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He’s also the founder of the Jumpstart Coaching Lab, a community that empowers and supports new financial professionals. In a recent episode of You’re a Financial Planner…Now What? I talked with Dominique about helping career changers find their footing, his YouTube channel and creating your own career path.

Dominique has had a long career in finance, from working for a hedge fund to working for a small broker dealer. He didn’t know what he was getting himself into when he began, nor what the career path looked like. He just knew that he liked to help people, and he had a gift for breaking complex ideas into more easily digestible terms. 

“I always say financial planning simplified is, ‘How do I take limited time and money as resources and spread them across unlimited choices?’” Dominique said. That analogy can be useful for any planner—new or veteran. 

Dominique’s desire to help others isn’t just limited to the clients of his firm, DJH Capital Management. This year, he founded the Jumpstart Coaching Lab, which aims to help the next generation of financial professionals. That includes fresh-faced professionals out of school, yes, but also people changing careers. In fact, career changers are Dominique’s primary audience.

Career changers face unique challenges that new grads may not. For one thing, they may be coming from their first career where they were in a higher position—with higher salary. Starting a new career means a drop in salary and a change in power. Who do you turn to for advice? How do you navigate a career change in a profession like financial planning?

That’s why Jumpstart is there. It provides new planners a central repository, as Dominique calls it, a wealth of information that tells new planners what to expect. Dominique knew he wanted to leave a mark on the profession by helping the next generation of planners. 

Career Paths and Soft Skills

How do career changers dive into the profession? It depends on what they want to do, said Dominique. One may start an apprenticeship, another may work at an independent RIA, while another may join Fidelity or Schwab. Your needs and personality type have a huge influence on the career path you make for yourself.

No matter which career path you choose, experience is what will make you a master of the craft. Dominique explained that programs and education may have changed since his time, but there’s nothing like experience to learn the profession. 

“I think there are a lot of different ways to get this technical knowledge, but I’m going to defer to the experience because I’m old school,” Dominique said. “Being able to look into the camera and try to have direct eye contact, and maybe being able to read body language from the client as they shift positions. All of these sound super nuanced, but they’re really valuable and helpful, especially if you’re running an online business.”

Experience will teach you these soft skills that are essential in the profession. When we start to talk about other skills, like marketing yourself, where can new planners go for information? Jumpstart, of course, is one resource. Investing in a marketing sales course can help, too. Look at what others in the profession are doing to market themselves also. 

The Power of Video

Dominique realized he was able to reach so many people through his YouTube videos on financial planning and financial topics. Not only could he educate others about finances and the profession, but he could sell himself, too.

A recent prospective client told Dominique during the last part of the meeting that he had him sold after watching a video. When he visited his website and watched his videos, he was able to see what he felt was the type of person he wanted to work with.

“That just speaks volumes,” Dominique said. “If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then imagine what a video is worth.”

It wasn’t always so easy to make this kind of content. Dominique mentioned starting out with PowerPoint and transitioning into videos that were “absolutely horrendous, horrible.” But after working with a PR coach and figuring out what to talk about, he found his groove. 

Dominique’s channel has grown to over 5,000 subscribers—and it’s given his practice a boost as well. It goes to show that content on social media can show prospective clients a face behind the name. That’s what the profession needs.

“If we can humanize this profession in a way that allows people to feel like they’ve got a relationship and some accountability towards [attaining] some of these important goals that they have, that’s how we win in this profession,” Dominique said. “That’s how everybody wins.”

Editor’s note: Listen to the full You’re a Financial Planner…Now What? podcast episode with Dominique at www.financialplanningassociation.org/yafpnw-231, or download the podcast on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Hannah Moore, CFP®, is a Certified Financial Transitions™ expert. She is passionate about helping people understand their money in meaningful ways. In her spare time, Hannah can be found spending time with her husband, Charlie, chasing after her daughter, Alice, quilting, gardening, beekeeping or cheering on the Baylor Bears.