4 Mistakes Financial Advisors Should Avoid Making

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While perfection is always the goal, it’s maintaining the habits in pursuit of perfection that really matters. Atomic Habits, the recent bestseller by James Clear, emphasizes the importance of keeping at habits you want to develop as conscious repetition is the only way to make good habits unconscious and reflexive.

Just as important, Clear stresses, is avoiding bad habits. While it’s inevitable that we’ll slip up at one point or another, you shouldn’t let these mistakes deter your overall progress. Since a passive act is easier to perform than an active one, it’s easy for mistakes to replace good habits if you’re not paying attention.

So, what should you de-emphasize in your practice? Below are four mistakes ambitious financial advisors should avoid to make their practices efficient and successful.

Keeping an Out-of-Date Logo

One common mistake financial advisors might not know they’re making is keeping a logo well beyond its time. Advisors who have been working since, say, the Nineties usually have a logo from the Nineties. While that’s all well and good for then, that same logo might look horribly out of date today. If you’re sticking with an old logo, potential clients might see your practice as out-of-step and stuck in old ways.

Embracing a new logo brings your practice into the 21st century and gives your business a fresh, contemporary character. Better still, a new logo tells your story for a modern audience, playing into your experience and vision in a way that your old logo no longer can. For some in-depth do’s and don’ts on branding, watch the House Rules on branding mistakes, or, if looking at your outdated logo also has you looking at your outdated home page, check out our blog about refreshing your website.

Thinking There’s a Time to Slow Down

Slower seasons in the financial industry like summer and winter vacations seem like a time to kick back and slow down. If everyone’s gone, then there’s no base to network with, is there?

Wrong! The truth is, not everyone is out for the summer. Many have different plans, and those people still need help getting the most out of their retirements. If you’re not there to lend a hand, they’ll turn into a lost opportunity, or, worse yet, someone else will be there to take your spot. Our post here talks about keeping your practice warm during winter, but the same concept applies to every season. The times you think you should slow down are likely times to keep your efforts up.

Overuse of AI

Artificial intelligence is the shiny new toy of the tech world. By this point you’ve certainly heard of it and, more likely than not, have started using it in your practice. In addition to ChatGPT — the Kleenex of online AI — established companies have introduced their own AI software, like Microsoft’s Copilot. It’s now easier than ever to lean on AI.

But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s necessary. Overusing a still-developing technology in your financial practice sets you up for failure in the short- and long-term. While it can be a useful tool when used sparingly, an undisciplined reliance on AI dulls your unique voice, lets unchecked text into your material, and sabotages your credibility with both prospects and clients. Our guide to AI pitfalls and practices goes into detail about using AI in your practice wisely.

A Dogmatic Approach

Advisors who’ve been in the financial industry for a while are always at risk of developing “blinders.” They get stuck on a single approach to someone’s portfolio because, in their minds, that’s what’s always worked and will always work.

You’d be surprised how many financial advisors lock themselves into a single-track mindset — and find themselves losing out on clients as a result. An ideal approach blends strategies which are appropriate for the situation, even if it’s not the typical approach you tend to use. Recognize the environment you’re in and don’t get lost thinking about dogma.

Taking a sober and honest review of your strategies ensures you haven’t accidentally trapped yourself into a narrow lane. This is where a client advisory board comes in handy! A group of your best clients are close enough to your practice to see what works while also distant enough to recognize what can be improved.

Always keep in mind: improvement is a conscious effort. Mistakes will happen, but they can always be addressed. Work to avoid those above and keep on building your practice!

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Stephen Odom, CEO of The Impact Partnership


Chief Executive Officer

Stephen started in the insurance marketing business in 2001 as a new business consultant. In 2002 he was promoted to Director of Sales and built a 200 million book of business from scratch. By 2005, he was one of the top wholesalers in the country, working with some of the top financial advisors and insurance agents across the USA. In 2008, Stephen was promoted to Co-President of one of the largest IMOs in the country.

In 2011, Stephen continued his entrepreneurship path and co-founded The Impact Partnership, an INC 5000 company. Stephen is responsible for the strategic vision of Impact and is laser-focused on creating a culture of growth for both internal teammates and our amazing customers.

Stephen lives in Kennesaw, GA, with his wife of more than 20 years, Kendra. They are blessed with three beautiful children Katie, Tyler, Anna Brooke, and Laya, their German Shepherd and Luna, their BernieDoodle.