Q: Is NAIFA doing enough to attract millennials to the industry and keep them in the business?
“I definitely think they are making good strides with their YAT (Young Advisor Team) forums so there’s an organization within NAIFA itself to attract younger advisors. I think the messaging needs to start earlier. How many people grow up saying ‘I want to be an insurance agent, I want to be a financial advisor’? So I think letting people know that careers like this even exist is important. I didn’t know coming out of college. So I think to let them know that not only careers like this exist but there’s support because if you think about a financial advisor, the average financial advisor is a 60-year-old white male. So not only youth and diversity, but going after and saying, ‘Look, you guys are the next generation to serve,’ is important. I think NAIFA is doing a good job of that. It always could be better but at least the efforts are there.
- Eszylfie Taylor, president, Taylor Insurance and Financial Services, Pasadena, Calif.
“I’m certainly of the opinion that NAIFA has made it a priority to attract young advisors, millennials, to pursue careers in the insurance industry. I think NAIFA has committed themselves to providing sales ideas on top of the advocacy side that NAIFA provides for our industry and career paths. So, yes, NAIFA is doing a great job. Could they do more? Yes, and it’s a priority for them to continue to be innovative in how they are attracting millennials not only to be members of NAIFA but to strengthen the industry. So I think that’s a two-answer deal – yes and yes. Certainly, NAIFA’s played an incredible role in the success that I’ve seen in my nine years in the business. I’m 31 and I started when I was 22. As a millennial, it’s important that we change the average age and demographic. We’ve got to bring it down. We’re not the only industry struggling with that but America needs us and that’s how I feel about it.
- Stuart Baber, agent, Farm Bureau Life, Fayetteville, Ark.
“That’s a great question. It’s an industrywide problem attracting people to our industry and I think that the bigger question is what is NAIFA doing to stay relevant to insurance and financial advisors in the financial industry. They are doing their best. I’m a big fan of a book called ‘Bowling Alone’ that I read a couple years ago. It’s this idea that the younger generations don’t really have the need or the sense to build community or be involved in anything. People think a little bit more selfishly. They think they can acquire knowledge on their own and go on the Internet and get their knowledge. They can figure things out about the industry from whatever their company’s telling them. What’s got to happen is that NAIFA’s got to figure out a way to say as a young professional who’s in the industry already, here’s how we can support you. I don’t think it’s NAIFA’s place necessarily to attract individuals to the industry but is very much a place to reach out to individuals in the industry already and explain why NAIFA is essential for them to do business with. Whether they are involved or not, the dollars that they spend on a NAIFA membership get funneled into marketing efforts for the industry. They get funneled into the political efforts of the industry, which obviously are extremely important with everything that’s going on with fiduciary responsibility and the Department of Labor. That’s a long way of saying I don’t think it’s NAIFA’s place necessarily to attract individuals to the industry but we are working on doing more but we’re not there yet at getting young advisors engaged.
- Jeremy Robicheaux, financial advisor, Eagle Strategies, Baton Rouge, La.