The Wealth Transfer: Getting Younger Clients

I’ve given some thought lately to lowering the average age of my clients. It’s an issue most financial advisors deal with when they look through their book of business and realize that most of their largest accounts are people in their 60’s, 70’s and older. In my experience, the reason for that is two-fold: first, older people really do have more money. It’s a combination of demographics (there are currently tons of baby boomers out there controlling trillions of dollars in assets) and the fact that people both come into more money at later ages and, concurrently, become more interested in the management of their assets as they near the distribution phase. The other reason why advisors have a hard time attracting young, wealthy clients is that younger people simply don’t focus as much on saving and investing as older folks. Regardless of all the statistics about the time value of money and how much of an advantage a young person would be at later on if they saved more now, it’s simply not how the world works. I have plenty of clients who are in their 20′s and 30′s, earning well over $100,000 per year who save very little each year, despite my ranting. Granted I work and live in New York City where earning $100,000 makes you, well, poor. The handful of young clients who do max out their 401k and save beyond that will clearly be less stressed later on when life becomes more expensive (think: college tuition) and saving becomes more difficult.

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