Lexi Balmuth Presents on Advisor Career Satisfaction at Quality of Life Studies Conference

by Adam Felts

Financial advisors can face significant stress at their jobs, as churning markets and world events bring stress to investments and to clients’ lives. But giving advice may nonetheless be a satisfying career for professionals.

A study carried out as part of the AgeLab’s PLAN research on financial advice examined how advisors feel about their jobs and about their overall quality of life. AgeLab researcher Lexi Balmuth presented findings from the study at the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies 21st Annual Conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

In interviews, advisors expressed concerns about changes in their industries. Clients want more from their advisors than in the past, and today’s professionals may lack the time and resources to meet their demands. “I want to do the best I can by my clients, but what they want takes more time,” one advisor said. “If you could invent more hours in a week, that would be what I need.”

In addition to changing client demands, respondents also talked about changes in expectations from newer professionals in the industry. Younger advisors are more focused on work-life balance than maximizing productivity and success in their careers, one respondent said. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, advisors have become more demanding of workplace flexibility, which may be beneficial in attracting more women into the profession, who particularly benefit from flexibility in allowing them to balance traditionally (although not necessarily) female roles such as

In addition to interviews with financial professionals, the AgeLab conducted a survey with PLAN panelists that asked them about their life and career satisfaction. Respondents reported near-universal career satisfaction, with 94.8% saying that they were happy with their career. Career satisfaction was correlated with several factors, especially feelings about one’s clients, one’s colleagues, and one’s company or firm, as well as work location, level of compensation, work-life balance, and the state of the industry in general. This multitude of relationships suggest that professional wellbeing is a complex concept that is informed by many elements.

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About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

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