Tony Bar­rett

Delaware Val­ley com­plex man­ager, Ray­mond James & As­so­ciates

Financial Planning - - LEAD GENERATION: SPECIAL REPORT -

Fresh out of col­lege and try­ing to build a book of busi­ness in a place far from home, Tony Bar­rett says he strug­gled against a seem­ingly in­sur­mount­able ob­sta­cle: his own fears. “I was scared to death to get in front of peo­ple, be­cause for the first time in my life I felt like a mi­nor­ity,” says Bar­rett, who be­gan his ca­reer in the early 1990s in Rich­mond, Vir­ginia — a South­ern city with lit­tle in com­mon with his na­tive Toronto. “I had never felt that be­fore grow­ing up or in col­lege. Now I was liv­ing in Rich­mond, and I felt like a mi­nor­ity and it wasn’t cool at all,” he re­calls. With lit­tle suc­cess, Bar­rett con­cen­trated his ef­forts on at­tempt­ing to find clients in the black com­mu­nity. “I had no con­fi­dence in my abil­ity to get in front of largely older, white in­vestors in the South. So I did no social net­work­ing ini­tially, no sem­i­nars, even though I had pub­lic speak­ing train­ing,” he says. The timely in­ter­ven­tion of his branch man­ager helped him turn things around. “He said, ‘The only color you need to be wor­ried about is green. Your busi­ness plan­ning should not be cen­tered around the color of their skin, it has to be cen­tered on whether they are a good client for you,’” Bar­rett re­mem­bers. Bar­rett is now a Philadel­phia-based com­plex man­ager and has one piece of ad­vice for young ad­vi­sors: Ev­ery­body faces dif­fi­cul­ties in this in­dus­try. “Any suc­cess I’ve been able to achieve has noth­ing to do with how smart I am,” he says. “It has to do with re­silience. If you want to be suc­cess­ful in this busi­ness, you need to be re­silient.”

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