(Dow Jones) Financial advisors are finding ample reason to be fed up or even burnt out by their line of work these days, and many are finding other options.
Deciding to change careers isn't a new phenomenon, but may be on more advisors' minds as the days of almost automatic returns and asset growth give way to stomach-churning markets.
Former advisors have gone on to become successful authors, accountants and coaches. Their experience in sales often leads them to new roles pitching something else, from shares in hedge funds to Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Some advisors who've long combined their advisory businesses with other services, such as accounting or selling insurance, have chosen to let their securities licenses lapse to focus solely on building up those side businesses, said Larry Papike, president of Cross-Search, a Jamul, Calif., recruiting and executive search firm for independent broker-dealers. Others, tired of the demands associated with a broker-dealer affiliation, simply become registered investment advisors, Papike said.
Over the years, recruiter Carri Degenhardt-Burke of Degenhardt Consulting, has seen many different types of positions crop up for financial advisors. Hedge funds are often looking for advisors to help bring in assets, basically "selling products to a very elite crowd," she said. "Those jobs are always available for the right person."
About three years ago, Degenhardt-Burke said, Oracle Corp. was seeking financial advisors' expertise because it was working to improve the same type of software they use, she said.
"My best advice for advisors seeking to get out is to sell their book; don't just give it away," said Degenhardt-Burke. "Books are valuable, so sell it to the highest bidder and really get your resume out there to a lot of people."
The average advisor is about 55 years of age, so they may not be inclined to sell their business and go back to school, but advisors are entrepreneurial by nature and some do find new business lines, she said.
Mindy Diamond, president of Chester, N.J.-based search firm Diamond Consultants, said, "An advisor is ultimately a salesman," so he may go on to some other type of sales job.
Jack Meskunas, 50, is a good example of that. While still working as a senior vice president for what was then Wachovia Securities LLC, Meskunas applied to open a Harley Davidson motorcycle dealership in New Rochelle, N.Y. He made a good living as a broker, but became increasingly discouraged with the work.