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Fear and The Art of the Possible by Bobby White, Founder and CEO of RFG Advisory

August 16, 2021

Coronavirus proved to be the ultimate stress test on the strength and resiliency of financial advisors. Although, a global pandemic was not a challenge anyone could have predicted, many advisors were woefully unprepared for battle and found themselves at a considerable disadvantage.

Outdated technology, old ways of thinking, and a lack of centralized resources weighted down even the most seasoned financial advisors.

Elite firms, in comparison, prospered in the face of uncertainty and did so as a direct result of their willingness to look towards the future instead of remaining in the past. “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” these famous words by the Roman philosopher Seneca transcribed nearly two thousand years ago, still hold true today.

But luck isn’t just about being prepared. For advisors, it’s also about being ready for new opportunities like the move to independence. With the battle scars still fresh, the question remains: Are financial advisors prepared to answer the call and finally break away?

Fear of the Unknown

Insights from the 2020 Advisor Movement Study by Fidelity Institutional Insights[i] indicates that more than half of advisors surveyed cite concerns about the fear of the unknown in the move from commission-based to fee-based revenue models. A staggering 56% of advisors surveyed before the pandemic report fear being an issue. In speaking with hundreds of advisors since, I am confident today’s percentage is much higher.

Fear is so prevalent and often paralyzing in our business that it keeps advisors from reaching their full potential serving clients and building enterprise value on their own personal balance sheet. Until now.

Three Biggest Fears Facing Advisors Contemplating Independence

As both Founder/CEO of RFG Advisory and a financial advisor, I have identified the three biggest fears facing advisors today:

  1. Fear of Transition.
  2. Fear of Succession.
  3. Fear of Growth.


Fear of transition is usually rooted in the quality of firm, culture, and peopleHow long and hard will transition be for my people and clients? Will my clients follow me? The second fear is succession. This reflects an advisor’s underlying concern around loss of identity, earning potential, and equity. Can I monetize my practice for what it’s worth? The last is the fear of growth. Am I willing to do what it takes to grow my practice – investing in A-player talent, the right technology, branding, marketing and necessary compliance infrastructure?

Conquering Fear: Warrior Advisor

In my Become a Warrior Advisor Podcast series with Dom Raso, Navy Seal Team 6 Veteran, Founder/CEO of Dynamis Alliance, we provide the tactics necessary for advisors to conquer fear.

The way you conquer fear is to embrace it, covert it, and replace it with purpose and meaning. For an advisor, spending quality time with clients and building the business vs. handling every little last detail can lead to massive ROI. You’ll often hear me say, “Be the CEO of your practice, not the COO.”

Another important factor is mindset. That mindset is the difference between the practice you have and the practice you want.

Warrior Advisors have a ‘Crush Everything’ mindset. It’s entrepreneurial. Battle-tested. Full of possibility. Obsessed with getting 1% better every day. Will it require you to face your fears and force you to get comfortable with uncomfortable?

Financial advisors now find themselves in a much more favorable setting than ever before—and ready for the art of the possible.

Click here to read the Full 2021 Mid-year Outlook!

Securities offered by Registered Representatives of Private Client Services (“PCS”). Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered by Investment Advisory Representatives of RFG Advisory, a registered investment advisor. Private Client Services and RFG Advisory are unaffiliated entities.