The Secret to a No-Stress Firm

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

I read an article you wrote about doing a hypnosis session for an advisory client. I’ve never been hypnotized and it intrigued me. It raised a question – are financial advisors more stressed out than other professions?

On the one hand this is a career where one can make a lot of money and many days not work terribly hard. But there is a great deal of unpredictability (markets, clients leaving and the like), so it can be stressful. Does this job require more of a focus on wellness and keeping oneself in good shape in order to de-stress? Or is it a lot easier than most careers?


Dear L.I.,

Yours is an interesting musing and a question that I have never been asked, nor have ever thought much about. Are you asking it because you feel stressed out? Or because you don’t experience much stress and are not sure if this is right or wrong? It is a great theoretical question, but dealing with human nature as much as I do, I’ve learned most questions have an underlying reason behind them.

I don’t think this career is more stressful than, for example, being an air traffic controller or heart surgeon. But it is more stressful than being a retail store manager or college professor (of course depending on the types of customers in your store, or the types of students in your classes!) It depends – stress is relative. There are too many variables and people deal with stress in many different ways.

Because of that, I know many stressed-out advisors and many who are reasonably low-key about their career. Neither is more successful than another; it’s just how they play out the stress.