Stress in the financial services profession can lead to burnout. Much has been researched and written about this concept. A white paper commissioned by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and written by Bob Veres (who produces the Inside Information Web site and newsletter) suggests that a volatile investment market and the increasing concerns of clients about the viability of their future goals, coming at the same time the advisor population is aging, leads to the advisors’ higher stress levels. And sustained stress can, again, lead to burnout.

If you are suffering such stress, the report offers a list of solutions: Change your mind set, take time for yourself, change your routine, change the office environment, be more intentional with your clients, find someone to take over routine chores, learn how to delegate, scale back.
Also, you can outsource key aspects of your workload.

Of course, you must first determine what to outsource and what chores to keep in house. Often advisors look at what they enjoy doing instead of what they are best equipped to do on their own. They may hire someone to perform analytical tasks that could have been effectively handled by a third party. Or they may spend substantial amounts of money on technology when they could have had some other competent person or firm handle it. They are not looking at the trade-off in costs.

To determine what jobs to farm out, take a long look at your financial practice and yourself. Determining the real costs of different services for your clients is a good start. But the introspection should not end there. Look at the time value of money and how things get done in your office. If you insist on having a role in every aspect of your operations, you may be the real roadblock to productivity and profitability. Outsourcing is sometimes simply more efficient.

Then you must examine vendors to determine which ones fit the way your firm operates. It could cost you more money and time in the long run, for example, if you choose a financial plan production service and then discover it lacks the right software, expertise and financial plan production to match what you have been doing for clients. Investigate your choices and take advantage of free trials when they’re available.

To help with your efforts, some new players have emerged with powerful offerings to take work off advisors’ hands, and some that have been around awhile may deserve a second look.