We have all heard it for years now: as the Baby Boom retires, demand for financial advice will soar. But LPL is looking at a much longer generational timeline.
The shift of Boomer accounts from the accumulation to distribution has been going on for some time. As yet, it's an open question whether it's translated into the boom that advisors have been led to expect for at least the last decade.
Retirement income products are still a confused market category, with the leading contender -- annuities -- remaining controversial among many advisors.
And with actively managed IRAs still in their infancy, the ongoing conversion of defined contribution accounts into cash has left many advisors entirely out of the loop.
So where's the boom?
What LPL sees as the new demographic driver for the advisory business is the scramble for "echo boom" assets.
Today's 30-somethings are even more numerous than the original Baby Boom ever was, and they're more inclined to lock in investment advice at an earlier age -- after all, they know their retirement is almost entirely up to them.
The problem, of course, is that these prospects are a lot younger than the typical advisor, and they have much less wealth than the 50-somethings today's advisors have geared their businesses around.
As these Americans age, they will definitely provide a huge market opportunity for someone.
The question might be whether it's really today's independent reps and advisors who are in position to capture it -- much less whether they'll be here in 30 years.