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Bracing for Impact: Leaving Your Business before Tough Times Hit

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Summary: Steve gets some much needed advice about leaving his family business in a deteriorating area for the financial world.


Question: For the past 24 years, I’ve run my family’s army/navy store. I’m now 45, and it’s the only job I’ve ever had. It’s been a successful business, but over the past few years, the area where it’s located has deteriorated and I see hard times ahead. I’ve had enough of retailing and would like to make a career change. I earned an M.B.A. 12 years ago and I’m currently studying to be a certified financial planner, even though I have no experience in this area. I’m considering a career as a stockbroker since financial planning and selling securities seem to go hand in hand. What advice can you offer?

— Steve, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Steve: This is a great economy to make such a career change, and financial planning is a fast-growing field. But I’d caution that it doesn’t have to be the same as selling securities unless that’s your goal. Many aging baby boomers are in desperate need of solid guidance on managing their retirement funds while paying for their kids’ college educations. Financial consultants — primarily in major markets — who offer counseling for $100 to $150 an hour that focuses on helping clients set and maintain their financial objectives, say they’re turning away business. Of course, these pros are good at marketing themselves through personal networking and local advertising, a key skill for any consulting practice.

Bracing for Impact: Leaving Your Business before Tough Times Hit by
Authored by: Satish Mochi