Brian Falconer says that when he was growing up in Portsmouth, NH, financial literacy was non-existent in his family. His grandparents were immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, and Italy, and none of them graduated from high school. When he attended Fordham University, he became the first in his family to attend college. He had always been good at math but found that majoring in accounting wasn’t for him. When he took courses and finance and economics, however, he found his passion and graduated with a major in finance and a minor in economics.
Fordham University ended up playing a major role in Falconer’s life and career. He was recruited into the insurance and financial services industry by a former Fordham football teammate and his first sales manager was also a Fordham graduate. During his senior year of college, Falconer got licensed and fell in love with the industry.
What It’s All About
Falconer loves his work because he gets to make a positive impact on people's lives. “We get to help teach people how to spend their money with confidence, how to save their money with confidence, and live the true American dream without having to live paycheck to paycheck.” He strives to give his clients the financial literacy toolkit he didn’t have growing up. Falconer is reminded every time a client thanks him that his work is meaningful. “The unsolicited ‘thank you’ is how we get paid in our business,” he says.
The most important quality for an agent or advisor, says Falconer, is being a good person. Having compassion and empathy, along with discipline and drive, is the key to a successful career in insurance and financial services.
With the industry’s high attrition rate, it takes hard work to succeed, and the first few years are the hardest. Falconer talks about the first few years in business (“the grind”) and the payoff after years of tireless dedication (“the other side of the rainbow”). Mentorship is key to making it to the other side of the rainbow, he says, and he credits his mentors Joe Jordan and Lou Aidala with helping him survive and thrive in his career.
The Benefits of NAIFA
Falconer says that being a NAIFA member has helped his career in many ways. He's had a more successful career since joining NAIFA, but there are many other benefits of NAIFA membership, he says. Making connections, networking, building skills, coaching, and mentoring are all assets for any insurance or financial services professional. NAIFA’s online resources and in-person events have also been integral to Falconer developing his knowledge and skill sets.
Political advocacy is the most important work NAIFA does. Falconer has served on the board of NAIFA-RI for 10 years and has lobbied in Washington, D.C., at NAIFA’s Annual Congressional Conference several times. Coming from a blue-collar background, Falconer is humbled by the opportunity to sit down face to face with lawmakers. He is encouraged by their willingness to listen, learn, and understand the needs of Main Street USA. He talks about protecting Main Street USA, saying, “It’s why I do what I do.”
Outside of the Office
When he’s not working, Falconer loves spending time with his wife and two daughters, aged 7 and 2. Every Saturday, Falconer and his daughters have a “Double Daughter Daddy Donut Date” at a local independent donut shop. On his own, Falconer enjoys snowboarding and working to improve his golf game. Falconer also loves volunteering in his community with local charities. He talks about the importance of donating time and energy to a cause, not just writing a check. When speaking of a day volunteering, Falconer says, "At the end of the day, my heart is so full.”
Thank you, Brian, for your service to our industry and association. We’re #NAIFAproud to call you one of our own.