A New Hope | ThinkAdvisor by James J. Green

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In the individual video interviews I conducted with the leaders of the 2014 Broker-Dealers of the Year, I asked what advice they’d give to a college student considering a career in the financial advice field. Their responses varied somewhat, but each included this duet of advice for students: This is a profession where you can not only make a significant difference in people's lives, but you can make a healthy living while doing so. (One of the presidents also confided in me that he was proud that one of his children had entered the business.)

Mark Tibergien of Pershing Advisor Solutions likes to say that as an advisor you “profoundly impact the lives of other people. It's financially rewarding. It's intellectually stimulating. Throw in walks on the beach and it's a pretty good personals ad.”

We know from Tibergien's years-long warnings that are now being borne out in the hard numbers that the industry is sitting on a human capital time bomb. Kim Dellarocca of Pershing said last year that “each year for the next 10 years, 12,000 to 16,000 advisors will retire,” while growing demand will create the need for 237,000 new advisors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts in its Occupational Outlook Handbook that there will be a 27% increase in what it calls “personal financial advisors” between 2012 and 2022 (BLS says the average increase for those 10 years for all occupations is 11%).

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