Katrina Everett is passionate about helping people attain financial freedom. An 11-year veteran in the financial services industry, she is a subject-matter expert who’s well versed “when it comes down to financial planning and how to take care of a client’s needs.” A self-proclaimed “speck of pepper in the salt,” Everett is a minority in terms of the number of black women in the financial services industry, but her strong desire and tenacity keep her focused.
It’s no secret that a financial advisor career has high earning potential. Wells Fargo Advisors has more than 15,000 financial advisors and over $1.2 trillion in assets under management and recognizes that the firms that will thrive will be those whose work forces reflect the world as it is today — diverse. If you’re searching for a job, are a self starter and want to help other succeed financially, this opportunity is for you. Training is paid for by Wells Fargo Advisors.
On Wednesday, July 25, 2012, Wells Fargo is hosting a recruitment event that will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Advisors office at 950 E. Paces Ferry Rd., Suite 1400, Atlanta, Ga., 30326.
Here, Everett shares firsthand what it’s like to be a Wells Fargo advisor and offers tools for success.
How did you get your start as a financial advisor?
I have known since college that I wanted to be a financial advisor. It was a requirement that I had to do an internship. I lined up internships with Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. I had a great time. I had the fortunate opportunity to meet the [then] CEO of Bank of America, Hugh McColl, before I graduated on campus one day. He invited me down for an interview. What set me apart from my peers at the time was I knew I wanted to be a financial advisor and it was just a matter of talking to the right people [and] putting myself in the right predicament.
What keys words of advice can you offer someone considering becoming a financial advisor?
You have to be passionate about wanting to help people meet long term goals, short term goals, financial planning, estate planning … to help someone be financially free. Have thick skin. Be competitive. Be a self-starter, intuitive in nature and entrepreneurial in the sense that you can talk to anybody about money, finances and planning, and your true intentions need to be that you want to help them.
Have a desire and a willingness to want to help people and everything else will flow. There is never a dull moment, you meet interesting people with interesting lives. Be open-minded and positive. Remember why you are in the business. It helps a lot that it pays well.
What objections does a black advisor have to overcome?
Particularly, if you are a black financial advisor, be honest with yourself about where we are. Sure, we have a black president but at the end of the day, you are talking about people’s money. Some people have their preconceived ideas about what an African American can do and you have to overcome a lot of objections just to get down to the root of talking about a recommendation. Everyone will not be well with taking advice from a woman, or a black woman, or a black man, or someone who doesn’t look like them. You have to be all right with that and that your colleagues and peers may do it differently. Everyone doesn’t want your flavor and that’s fine.
Do you have black and white clients?
Ninety five percent of my clients are white. There was this whole stereotype that a [large] percent of my books would be black; it’s quite the opposite.
How comfortable are you with being in an industry that is not really diverse?
I have always been the type of person to overcome an adversity… the only girl on the basketball court … football field. I was alright with it. I was always trying to be the best person and it didn’t matter, black, white, boy or girl, they were going to lose. I have always had a competitive edge. Going into an industry that looked nothing like me, I was comfortable with it and it was a challenge. If it’s your passion, who cares what the room looks like?
Do you need a business degree?
I don’t think so. Someone in my opinion that doesn’t have a business degree will do better. There was an instance where a female advisor [raised a point] that you have to be very social. If there’s anything that women and this generation can do is they are social. You have to want to talk to people and be all right with hearing “no,” and keep it moving. I have people in my office who don’t have a business degree and they do well.
Do you need to have a strong background in math?
No. That’s a huge misconception. I hear that from a lot of clients. You know there are calculators out there [laughs]. You need to have basic math [skills] and be a problem solver.