Updated Monday, July 28, 2014 as of 12:31 PM ET
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Cultivating Next-Gen Advisors
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013
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Yes, the U.S. job market, as a whole, continues to recover slowly, but there's a bright spot: Jobs in financial planning are booming and expected to grow at more than double the average rate for all occupations by 2020, according to TD Ameritrade Institutional.

While the average job growth for all occupations nationally stands at around 14%, as predicted by the U.S. Department of Labor, growth among financial advisors stands at roughly 32%.

“More people are needing help to plan their financial futures, partly because governments have scaled back on retirement benefits. The onus is on employees,” says Tom Nally, president of TD Ameritrade Institutional.

So, the firm is leading efforts to head-off a potential talent shortage by encouraging college students to consider careers in financial planning, accepting applicants for the TD Ameritrade Institutional Next Gen Scholarship and Financial Education Grant Program. The first batch of scholarships will be awarded to students this summer.

“TD Ameritrade Institutional will provide individual scholarships valued at $5,000 each to ten deserving and talented students enrolled in undergraduate financial planning programs. A $50,000 grant will be provided to a university which best demonstrates a commitment to educating the industry’s future financial professionals,” the firm said in a statement.

The scholarship fund is aimed at injecting new blood into the financial advisory space.

“If you take a look at the demographics, advisors are on average in their mid-late 50s, with 6% under the age of 30,” Nally says. “As more than 75 million baby boomers enter retirement many will be looking for the expertise of a financial advisor to help them manage their money and pursue their financial goals. A career in financial planning can be highly satisfying and financially rewarding, offering flexibility, as well the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals and families.”

The scholarship application deadline is May 15. The requirements? Applicants must be a current college freshman, sophomore or junior and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above while pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in financial planning at an accredited 4-year college or university.

The grant application deadline is June 1 and is open to accredited colleges or universities nationally that offer a bachelor’s degree program in financial planning.

In January, TD Ameritrade’s Nally told Financial Planning that adapting to a changing client universe is critical for advisors. The wealth accumulated by Generations X and Y will increase to $28 trillion by 2018 from $2 trillion in 2011, he said at the time in a keynote at the company’s annual advisor conference. But planners will need to adapt for a new client base, he argued, citing a study that found 86% of younger investors said they’d fire their parents’ advisors. Advisors will need to upgrade their technology, embrace social media and bring in younger team members.

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