While I was in college, John Mellencamp enjoyed a lot of success, especially in the Midwest. During my senior year, I remember going to his sold-out concert at Indiana University’s Memorial Stadium. Unfortunately, he didn’t play one of my favorite songs, “Minutes to Memories” – one of his less popular tunes off the “Scarecrow” album from the mid-’80s
The song is about a young man riding a bus overnight with an elderly man. Mellencamp eloquently shares the story that so many of us have been a part of – a wise person very senior in age gives a younger person the facts of life. The chorus repeats:
Days turn to minutes
And minutes to memories
Life sweeps away the dreams
That we have planned
You are young and you are the future
So suck it up and tough it out
And be the best you can
I often listen to this song because our industry stands at a crossroads. Recent legislation has the potential to sweep away not only our dreams as financial professionals, but also the retirement dreams of many middle class Americans through the loss of quality financial advice. At the same time, we all have a chance to shape the future of the industry. No matter what the future holds, we need to tough it out and be the best financial professionals we can be.
As I have mentioned before, we must look at our business models, then adjust, adapt and grow as an industry. That means forcing carriers to be more client-friendly with ease of operations, access to information and better customer service for younger Americans.
It also means we have to evaluate our businesses and look to change the client experience. We must fight to show regulators we are capable of change that is both meaningful and lasting for our clients.
Stay tuned as the industry challenges regulations over the next couple of months. But, more importantly, stay focused on ways you can adapt your business to document the higher standards, act more efficiently and address the middle market concerns.
Keep your dreams – and your clients’ dreams – alive. Let’s figure out how to shape the future of our industry and make our businesses more efficient and effective.
Mike McGlothlin is the Executive Vice President of Annuities at Ash Brokerage. His strength is helping advisors become more efficient and effective in their businesses. He and his team provide income-planning solutions focused on longevity and tax efficiency, and they also assist advisors with entering defined-benefit termination planning and structured settlement markets.
© 2018 Ash Brokerage LLC.