I’ve been married to my wife for 21 years, and while we’ve grown comfortable with each other, I can still be surprised, delighted, and impressed when I watch her operate away from our comfort zone and in her own sphere–explaining and then demonstrating to a rapt piano recital audience, for instance, the delights of three beats against two in an etude of Debussy. I had the same feeling, though of a non-uxorial nature, while listening to Mark Tibergien present some of Moss Adams’s latest findings at the Pershing Insite conference in June. Mark has shared with Investment Advisor readers his unparalleled insights into the advisory business through his Formulas for Success column since 2003, and I’ve grown comfortable with describing Mark as the quintessential practice management expert who combines mastery of Moss Adams’s trove of data on the advisory universe with the hands-on personal expertise gained from consulting with hundreds of firms around the world on their unique issues. I don’t know anyone in the business who would disagree with that assessment.
In Mark’s 45-minute Pershing presentation, however, I felt anew the satisfaction of listening to a master educate and inspire a standing-room only crowd. Mark made some bold predictions about the future of the RIA business, and created a sense of urgency that his audience better be ready to respond to the new world a-borning. There will be an explosion of advisors in the near future to match the blossoming of demand for financial advice emanating from the boomers, Mark argued, but then pointed out in his scholarly, authoritative way that demand for advice will be matched with demand for people who can provide said advice. That’s good news for those now studying financial planning and those young advisors whose time and talents will be in great demand: It will also mean that salaries for those newcomers will soar. In fact, that competition resulting in rising return for advisors may already be happening.