There is anxiety in the industry over the "aging" nature of financial advisors. In short, there's too many that are too old, and not enough new blood to pick up the business. In fact, the average age of advisors has climbed to almost 50 years old, according to Cerulli Associates. But for this group of advisors, that's barely out of short pants. The advisors here are all over 90, and still working in the field.
They have seen dramatic changes. Technology has evolved, there are new business models and vendors, new investment possibilities, etc... When several of these advisors first started, paperwork was normal; tickertape ruled the workplace and chalkboards tracked changes.
But sentimentality for the old ways isn't how you stick in the game as long as these professionals have. They have adapted and continue to keep up. Bob Hecht is an “early adopter,” his office manager, said, adding that he is constantly evolving how he works rather than sit back and let nature take its course.
Some, like Basil Lewis, have diverse backgrounds and practiced in multiple regions. Lewis has been in the industry since 1959, beginning as a member of the London Stock Exchange before coming to the U.S.
Laura Baron, 93, was one of the first women in the industry and said she had to work twice as hard to build a book of business alongside her male colleagues. Although men dominated the industry and weren’t always welcoming to females trying to break in, Baron overcame the challenges and continues to enjoy the thrill of exceeding expectations.
“You get up in the morning, get out and stay active,” Baron said of her strategy for remaining in the game.
Note: The advisors' assets under management is based on the Meridian IQ Database and information provided by the firms.