Financial advisors are disappearing faster than they can be replaced. Several factors are working against the industry: current FAs are retiring; the financial crisis, which forced new FAs and those with weak franchises to leave the industry; and curtailed training programs from wirehouses. A study by Cerulli Associates found the number of FAs industry-wide dropped from 334,919 in 2004 to 320,378 in 2010. The total at wirehouses fell from 60,960 to 50,742. Firms are now targeting career-changers with thicker skin, as well as culturally diverse candidates through military and university channels with strong programs in entrepreneurship. Firms have implemented processes to better weed out college grads with tenacious attitudes to overcome their high drop-out rate. Firms also have extended the length of training programs with salary guaranteed. For example, training at Raymond James went from four weeks to two years and offers a base salary for five years.

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