Think being young hinders your prospecting?  Think again!  Let’s look at the facts:

  • The average age of those with $250,000+ investable is 58.5.
    (2014 Oechsli Institute Research)
  • The life expectancy for those currently 58 years old is 81 Male / 84 Female. (Social Security Administration)
  • The average affluent investor has 23-26 years remaining to make smart decisions about their money.
  • If you’re an average-aged affluent male and your advisor is older than 42, you’ll likely be in the market for a new advisor before your days are done.  39 if you’re a female.   

 

Who wants to change advisors in your seventies or eighties?  If you’re younger, let’s use these statistics to your advantage.  Here’s how you can capitalize:

  1. Know the facts
    You don’t have to memorize the Actuarial Life Table.  Just know a couple averages.  The average Financial Advisor is 48.  The average client is 58.  Both are inching closer to retirement.
     
  2. Rehearse your language
    The first time you explain this to someone, it might not roll off your tongue.  Any conversation that hints at life expectancy can get a little awkward, but a little rehearsal can go a long ways.  You might consider saying:

    “The financial services industry is facing a battle of age.  The average Financial Advisor is 48 - the average client is 58.  The math is pretty clear – if the advisor is currently in his forties, let alone fifties or sixties, he probably won’t be there for his clients in their twilight years.  We think it’s imperative to work with someone who can be there through the whole journey.”
     
  3. Make some calls
    Do you have a prospect or two that bristled at your youth?  Give them a call – try your new language – the math is in your favor.  Going forward, it will be great to have this language in your back pocket for anyone who doesn’t see youth as an asset.
     

If you’re an older advisor, there’s no better time than now to start thinking about teaming or succession planning. You’ve likely got the experience and the connections – two things you cannot shortcut – and you can hire and mentor younger advisors.

Or if all else fails, simply borrow some language from Ronald Reagan at 74, “I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience.”

 

Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols are thought-leaders and coaches with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry.  @StephenBoswell  @KevinANichols  www.oechsli.com