Spokane Journal of Business

Shortage of young financial adviser talent said waning

'Top 40 under 40' list honorees foresee influx of budding professionals

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The concern over a lack of young financial advisers that has been dominating industry news is becoming less warranted, say two men named to a list of the country's "top 40 under 40" registered investment advisers.

"Forbes, Cerulli Associates, InvestmentNews.com, and many other observers have been saying there just aren't enough young advisers joining the investment industry," says Michael W. Hartley, an adviser and partner at DKE Inc., of Venice, Fla. "Even though we are seeing the greatest demand ever, thanks to the millions of baby boomers who are retiring or planning their retirement, and the growing number of boomer-aged advisers who are also retiring, I believe more and more young and talented advisers are stepping up to fill the gap."

Hartley's statement comes on the heels of nationwide research conducted by WealthManagement.com, the digital resource of RegisteredRep.com and Trusts and Estates magazine. By searching the Meridian-IQ database of financial advisers, interviewing noted industry observers, and reviewing numerous press reports, researchers say they identified 40 up-and-coming independent financial advisers under 40 years of age.

Hartley and James Moore, a fellow DKE adviser, were both recognized.

Moore says, "At DKE, we have some 'old dogs' with 35-plus years of experience, but in the financial services industry, there has always been a perception that anyone without gray hair should be discounted as a strong voice.This recognition counters that misperception and lends incremental authority and depth to the innovation and excellent service young advisers provide clients."

Hartley says the need for younger advisers was cast in sharp relief by a 2011 Cerulli Associates Inc. survey indicating that 22 percent of advisers were below 40 and only 5 percent were younger than 30. When combined with a 4.3 percent decrease in the total number of advisers from 2004 to 2010, he says, "It's no surprise alarms bells have been going off across the industry."

Things will only get better, though, he says. He cites a Bureau of Labor Statistics projection that the number of investment advisory jobs will grow by 32 percent between 2010 and 2020, which he says is much higher than the 14 percent average for all other sectors.

"Younger advisers may lack some of the wisdom age eventually brings," he says, "but these days, we have access to an unprecedented range of information, knowledge, support, and collaborative expertise as well as superb mentorship from the leaders in our industry."

DKE is a national firm that provides a range of investment services to investors, investment advisers, and others.

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