John Becker, MBA, CMFC, is a self-described people person and analytics nerd. It’s the perfect combination for a career that requires both empathy and financial acumen.
While studying for his MBA at the University of Florida, Becker knew he wanted a career in financial services. He considered becoming a financial analyst but decided against it. As an analyst, he would exclusively manage assets for high-net-worth individuals. He wanted to make an impact on Main Street Americans, so he decided to become a financial advisor instead.
What It Takes to Succeed
Perseverance is essential to any financial professional’s success, says Becker. He thought about quitting often in his first year. When your income is primarily fees and commissions, self-doubt can creep in, he says. However, as the years went by, he gained more confidence. “You're going to fail a lot,” he says. “The most successful people know they’re going to fail but they aren’t afraid of failure.” He found that a good support network can mean the difference between carrying on or giving up. "If you’re going to make this long-term, you need to have joint partners and mentors in the field,” he says.
A good advisor should be humble in their confidence and courageous in their character, Becker says. He talks about the many facets of financial advising, helping clients during the best times in their lives and the hardest times. Sometimes his clients have just received an inheritance and are excited to call him. Other times, they’ve experienced a personal tragedy that makes them recognize the need for insurance protection. “If you only focus on the negative, it'll eat you alive,” says Becker. “But if you keep balance about it—be humble but confident—it’s a great field.”
Serving Main Street USA
Becker primarily serves middle-class Americans. He likes the challenge of helping his clients maximize savings and protect their future. “The folks in the middle really need a little bit of extra help and it's more of a collaborative effort,” he says. While he still does asset management, Becker also supports his clients with insurance, retirement planning, and long-term care planning. He’s seen first-hand the importance of planning ahead. “If the game plan was laid out well for all the "what-ifs” you can say to that grieving wife or grieving husband, 'You just focus on the grieving,’” says Becker. “I think that takes a huge burden off people's plates.”
The Value of NAIFA
Becker talks about the importance of NAIFA membership and political advocacy. “If you're someone that really follows the economy and follow the markets, you also have to follow what [legislators in] Washington, D.C., are doing.” He continues, "Most people don't really know about the daily legislation that has a direct impact on them, their industry, and how they can conduct business."
When Becker applied to become a member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), he chose NAIFA as his professional organization. When he asked fellow producers at Prudential, they explained the influence NAIFA has in helping inform lawmakers’ understanding of legislation. In his first year as an advisor, he qualified as an MDRT member. Ten years later, he became a Qualifying and Life member.
Outside of the Office
When he’s not working, Becker enjoys spending quality time with his two daughters, aged 5 and 7. They’ve taken up an interest in running 5K races and have participated in many charity races, including the Emerald City 5K, supporting affordable housing development in Brevard County; the Superhero 5K for Friends of the Children, a support network for victims of child abuse; and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
Thank you, John, for your service to our industry and association. We’re #NAIFAproud to call you one of our own.