FA Magazine May 2023 - Page 43

Younger advisors have had to imagine a new world for themselves ( and then inhabit it ).

Young Advisors To Watch

Younger advisors have had to imagine a new world for themselves ( and then inhabit it ).

WOULD AN ADVISOR FROM 1999 RECOGNIZE one from 2023 ? Would the advisor of 1999 have foreseen that they would one day be meeting clients over Zoom ? Or that they ’ d be telling clients how to quit their jobs to take extended sabbaticals ? Would our world in the 2020s seem like The Jetsons ?

Yes , things have changed . But in many ways , the experience of today ’ s advisor is different because the clients are . Young advisors and clients both want their money to serve them , not vice versa . Younger people today might not feel company loyalty the way their parents did — perhaps because the companies and fields aren ’ t as loyal to them ( think of the high turnover rate in tech or banking ). Or it might be that repeated financial and health crises have given people a new lease on life : that they should not forget to live it . After years of turmoil in banking , perhaps clients have also come to distrust centralized finance and find crypto attractive ( regardless of its most recent woes ).
When Financial Advisor magazine ran its first “ Young Advisors to Watch ” feature in 2015 , many of the lifestyle practices advisors were running might have seemed downright eccentric . Now , the world has caught up to working from home .
Clients have other priorities as well . In the past , advisors might have warned them about supporting relatives , but in real life , people are indeed helping other family members more , whether it ’ s children , parents or siblings . After all , sometimes people with the newest wealth are also the wealthiest members of their families .
And Gen Zers have different priorities and status symbols . George Acheampong , one of this year ’ s “ Young Advisors ,” says they feel more like global citizens , and don ’ t see homeownership as the anchor of the American dream .
And so it goes that many of today ’ s young advisors have forged a different relationship with their profession , one that stresses work-life balance and lifestyle over career progression , one that values building an enterprise and youthful notions of changing the world .
After dealing with the pandemic disruption and working from home , spending more time with family and their personal pursuits , advisors like Steven Drost are now finding ways to limit the extent to which work infiltrates or dominates their lives .
“ The future is that an advisor is now incredibly empowered to be and do whatever they want ,” says Drost , who added that he turned down a C-suite role at a national RIA to pursue his own lifestyle practice , Drost Financial . “ If you want to go to a wirehouse and serve 300 clients and have quantity over quality , you can do that . If you want to join a midsized RIA and serve fewer traditional wealthy and super-affluent clients , you can do that . If you want to do what I do and niche down and make work your second , third or fourth priority , you can do that . The future of this industry is completely up to us .”