Earlier this year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published their Top Ten List of Best Jobs for the Future. Ranking #2 on the list was financial advisor with a projected 10-year growth rate of 27%–almost 3 times the job growth rate of all occupations.
So, why is financial advisor ranked so high? Well, it’s actually a perfect storm of demographics, institutional change and consumer need. First, the average age of a financial advisor in the industry today is 57 so if you fast-forward 10 years with retirements, practice mergers & acquisitions and death, the gap needed to fill all these vacancies is over 237,000.
Also people are living longer – the life expectancy of someone in the U.S. is 79 years old. Now compare that to the life expectancy of someone who lived in 1900 – only 43. So with medical advances and standard of living improvements people now get two lives when they used to get one! Or, to view it another way, according to the US Census, the number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to double by 2050.
The second part of this perfect storm is institutional change. Back in the day, retirement savings was essentially taken care of from your company, government, and/or union. Things are different now and Gen Y knows that all the ‘heavy lifting’ for living a comfortable lifestyle in retirement rests on their shoulders – there are no defined benefit plans and Social Security will run dry. And depending on how you look at it, living longer could have its drawbacks if there was not a disciplined approach to retirement planning. The reality is ‘retirement’, how anyone defines it, can last 30+ years.
Finally, consumer need for sound financial advice from a professional has become more prevalent than ever before. The multitude of choices, product complexities, lack of time for ‘doing-it-yourself’, and recent market crashes like that of 2008 brings great demand for help. Consumers want to sit down with someone who can educate them on what’s out there to take care of their needs so they can make smarter financial decisions. And according to a recent report by LIMRA, 78% of Americans surveyed aged 25-44 do not have a financial advisor.
So, this perfect storm does have a happy ending – a great opportunity for someone who is entrepreneurial, ambitious and passionate about starting their own financial advisory practice and truly helping people with their long-term plans. The market opportunity is there and the career prospects are ripe – it’s rewarding, it’s challenging, it’s exciting and it’s needed.
At Empire Wealth Strategies we have a unique platform to help someone transform their start-up to a successful and purposeful financial advisory practice. Check us out if you want to learn more.