The generation of independent advisors who started firms in and after the 2008-9 recession knew that it would take a lot more than simply announcing their certifications to get the assets rolling in.
The advisor businesses that have opened up and survived in the last four years are more entrepreneurial than ever.
If the people Financial Advisor talked to are any indication, their principals have learned the hard way that it isn't really about socializing with wealthy families and letting the business take care of itself.
They've chosen very specific market niches for themselves -- lawyers, doctors, accountants, IT executives -- and relentlessly prospect those markets to gather assets in motion.
A lot of them now emphasize financial planning as the factor that differentiates them from previous generations of independent firms, but some point out that the planning business is now getting crowded.
They advise their colleagues to keep selling themselves, network more, and pour extra cash back into their businesses.
It's a remarkably lucid, no-nonsense manifesto for a leaner, more efficient, more profitable industry.