How Financial Advisors Can Move Up the Earning Pyramid When They Hire an Assistant

Are you doing it all? Feeling overworked? Not enough time to think about where you’re taking your financial advisory business? Don’t have a five-year vision?

At a certain point in your solo career you will reach maximum capacity. When that happens and you do nothing about it, important issues may fall through the cracks. Not only that, you won’t have time to be the entrepreneur in your business, planning your branding and marketing, planning your long term goals.

At that time, you will need to hire an assistant if you want to progress and move up the financial advisor earning pyramid and have more time to run your business like an entrepreneur.

hire an assistant

One question I like my clients to ponder is:

What is your time worth?

If you are busy doing paperwork, onboarding new clients, creating model portfolios, calling custodians, and generally dealing with the day-to-day issues of running a business, you won’t have time to focus on growth.

Your time is worth at least $250 an hour! What you would pay an assistant to take some of these tasks off your plate, would be far, far less than that.

So, is it time to hire an assistant? Here’s a guide to what kind of assistant you need, when you should hire, what you should look for, the duties you want performed.


1.What kind of assistant do you need?

The first step is to figure out where you need to most help right now. It won’t be helpful to hire a full time assistant is you only need part time to start off, or if you only need marketing help.

Here are types of assistants you may need:

Executive assistant

Pt assistant

Virtual assistant

Marketing assistant

Project leader/manager

Relationship manager/assistant

Firm representative

2.When should you hire an assistant?

Ideally a financial advisor should hire an assistant when they can no longer handle their workload, they are going home late, or they are performing duties that are not valued at their hourly rate.

Some say when you are at 80% of capacity.

Employee turnover is one of the most expensive business costs, not to mention the slow down in getting work done. So once you find a good person, pay them well, mentor them, and take steps to keep them around!

3.What skills should you look for?

Know the skills and attributes you seek in your new assistant. Make a list of those skills. Do you need someone with great organizational skills? Great client skills? Project management skills? Marketing skills? Write out a list of skills needed.

4.What duties do you want performed?

Make a list of everything you want your assistant to do and then create a Job Description so that there is complete clarity around the job. You are better off listing too much, than not enough because if you later add duties, there may be some pushback.

5.Create good interview questions

You can determine a candidate’s aptitude and whether they are self-directed by asking the right interview questions. Use a mix of job-related questions and behavioral questions.

6.Consider having top candidates take a pre-hire assessment

To avoid making a bad-hiring decision, consider using an assessment such as

Calipers Pre-Employment Hiring Assessments or the Kolbe A Index – compare each team members’ results to see the gaps you need to fill.

7.How do you keep good people?

I see over and over again where a financial advisor does not incentivize, pay well, or mentor their people. This causes high employee turnover, more of your time invested in running the business, and training the new person.

People leave for 3 reasons

1.Lack of recognition & appreciation

2.Low salary without rewards

3.Don’t get along well with their boss/others in office

Make sure the above issues are addressed to prevent turnover and business disruption.



Hiring an assistant when you have reached 80% of capacity will help you become more productive, focus where you need to in order to move up the earning pyramid, and earn more for your hard work.

About Suzanne Muusers