No, advisers themselves aren’t getting smaller, it’s just that their numbers are. More of them are leaving the financial planning industry as reported by Plan Adviser citing a new report by Cerulli Associates, a research firm specializing in the financial service industry.  Cerulli’s Edge Advisor Recruiting Edition says that the number of financial advisers in the U.S. declined from 256,569 in 2005 to 245,831 last year.

And those entering the industry are getting older – quickly. According to Cerulli more than 62% of advisers were under age 30 when they entered the industry in the 1980s. By 2007, only 3% of financial advisers were under the age of 30. The reason, Cerulli notes, is that the job of financial adviser is increasingly becoming a haven for second-career professionals.

So where are the new advisers coming from then? According to Investment News, from other investment firms who recruit for advisers from each other. In other words, it’s a zero-sum game. In practical terms, it means that the boomers have a declining universe of experienced financial advisers to help them manage their retirement assets. 

My friend, Dr. Susan Mangiero asked the question the other day on her blog,  Pension Risk Matters, Do You Have Your Own Fiduciary? If not, why not? Maybe part of the answer to Susan’s question is that the good ones are just harder to find.

Picture credit: Grant Williams (August 18, 1930 – July 25, 1985) shown in his role of Scott Carey in the science fiction classic film The Incredible Shrinking Man. The film has become an existential cult classic. Released in 1957, and re-released in 1964, it was written by Richard Matheson. Here is a link to the trailer (ad preceeds) on