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By Charles Paikert, Action! Magazine featuring Cecilia Williams, CFP®, AIF®, COO and Joshua Robbins, CFP®, CDFA®, AIF®, Associate Wealth Advisor at Halbert Hargrove.

Advisor training – or lack thereof – has become a flashpoint for the wealth management business.

“The problem,” says industry veteran Ray Sclafani, CEO of ClientWise, “is that when it comes to professional development, advisors are too often on their own.”

The good news is that steps are being taken to address the issue.

An increasing number of colleges and universities offer graduate programs for financial planning, including internships. The Financial Planning Association has a residency program to help next-gen advisors learn the business and offers access to Carson Coaching online. The CFP Board sponsors internship and workforce development programs.

The Investments & Wealth Institute, formerly known as IMCA, is beefing up its certification programs to advance advisory skills and several firms have begun reimbursing advisors for the cost of the programs.

Advisors who enroll in Charles Schwab’s executive leadership program receive five ten-week courses in leadership, innovation, talent management marketing and entrepreneurship.

Hightower Advisors has also implemented education and training for next-gen advisors. The RIA’s two-year certificate program emphasizes strategic decision-making using simulations for team dynamics, operations decisions, equity structures and organic growth.

Third-party and online programs have emerged as another training option for advisors.

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