Age & Industry: or making youth an advantage

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Aug 14, 2008 10:05 am

I'm the youngest in my office.  By a lot.  The next youngest FA graduated high school when I was in second grade.  I've read less than 3% of FAs are under 30, and almost half of the FAs currently working are expected to retire within 5 years due to the aging FA base.

 
We all started in this industry at different ages, and I'm sure different branches have more of a predisposition to hire younger FAs than others... but from what you all have seen what advantages do the younger guys have.  What have you seen the younger men and women do to differentiate themselves for the better or worse?
Aug 14, 2008 11:30 am

They got dad's book, joined a team, or their dad had some existing network.

 
Actually, the real advantage that young people have, is that they have not yet created a lifestyle that prohibits them from making it in this business.  What I mean is, most people a few years out of college can live off 30K a year.  Try doing that with a house, mortgage, wife, kids, cars, etc.  So if a young person can make the firm's hurdles, they won't have to leave the business due to lack of income.
 
In my last career, I was making about 125K per year (I'm 37).  One of my good friends in the firm was making about 40K in his last job (he's 24).  So his "good" month and my "good" month look very different (or what we consider "good" months). 
 
In other words, younger people can "outlast" the "rampup" period better than some older people can.  On the flipside, older people may have more in savings.
 
One other advantage - time.  again, wife, kids, house, life, etc.  The older you are, the more life responsibilities you have.  At 24, I had a car and my rent.  I could work 7 days a week (and often did).  I simply can't do that anymore (nor do I want to - been there, done that) because of my family.
 
One last thing - this is not an advantage that will help you make it, but another "time" ally: can you imagine making it in this business at 24 or 25?  You are set for life.  Man, I wish I had started back then (though not sure I would have had the maturity to make it).
Aug 14, 2008 11:56 am

I am still working to become an FA but I have noticed that a lot of my friends respect my knowledge in the market.  Now they may not have a lot of money at this point in time, but I can make a lot of clients and keep them until I retire.  Having a client for 30 years can lead to some serious referrals.  I also agree with what B24 said.  The salary differentials can be a serious advantage, along with the ability to network whenever one desires.