Ja­son Bowles

Ad­vi­sor, RBC Wealth Man­age­ment

Financial Planning - - LEAD GENERATION: SPECIAL REPORT -

Of the roughly 30 en­trants in ad­vi­sor Ja­son Bowles’ train­ing class 17 years ago, only five sur­vived in the in­dus­try, he says. “I was for­tu­nate in that I had a man­ager who re­ally be­lieved in me,” the 48-year-old Ed­ina, Min­nesota-based ad­vi­sor says. “I think re­gard­less of race you need to have an ad­vo­cate on your side. You need some­one in your cor­ner.” In Bowles’ case, his man­ager pro­vided crit­i­cal en­cour­age­ment and sup­port, a ne­ces­sity, he says. “I think there is space and op­por­tu­nity for mi­nor­ity ad­vi­sors. And we need them,” he con­tin­ues. “It’s not an easy job, but with pas­sion and hard work you can be suc­cess­ful. It’s crit­i­cal to find the right fiat with a com­pany and a boss who will ad­vo­cate and sup­port you.” Dur­ing the course of his ca­reer in wealth man­age­ment, all of it spent with RBC, Bowles says he never faced overt dis­crim­i­na­tion. “Maybe there were peo­ple or prospects who didn’t want to work with me be­cause of my race, but they never said that to my face,” he says. But Bowles says that tran­si­tion­ing into this busi­ness wasn’t easy. His first ca­reer was as a fi­nan­cial an­a­lyst at food man­u­fac­tur­ing gi­ant Pills­bury. When he be­gan work­ing as an ad­vi­sor, he took a pay cut. It took about four years, he says, to reach the same level as his pre­vi­ous salary. His ex­pe­ri­ence has taught him that new ad­vi­sors need to be flex­i­ble, Bowles says, given that there is no sin­gle recipe for suc­cess. “There are 35 peo­ple in my of­fice,” he notes, “and they’ve all built it dif­fer­ently.” The most crit­i­cal thing, he adds, is to have com­mit­ment. “What drove me was that I had a pas­sion for it,” Bowles says. “Yes, it’s po­ten­tially a good way to make a liv­ing, but you have to en­joy sit­ting down and work­ing with peo­ple on their fi­nan­cial lives — blue, green, white or black, it doesn’t mat­ter. If you don’t have that, it’s go­ing to be very dif­fi­cult.”

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