This $4.6M advisor chose finance over medicine and never looked back

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This profile appeared earlier this year as part of On Wall Street's Top 40 Under 40. All details are as of Sept. 31, 2017. To see who else made the top 10, please click here.

Growing up in a house full of doctors, Mihir Patel was expected to follow in his family’s footsteps. He didn’t.

“My mom always wanted me to be a doctor,” Patel says. “We laughed when I eventually became managing director. I got the M.D., but in a completely different field.”

The New York-based advisor has now been with Morgan Stanley for seven years and ranked No. 4 on On Wall Street's Top 40 Under 40 with $4.6 million in production. He previously worked at Merrill Lynch, having started there as an intern in college.

At the start of his career, Patel had the advantage of working under a seasoned vet who mentored him, he says. “When I started with a large book of business, I learned from partners and clients that were 50 years my senior,” Patel says. “I learned from the old-school market participants and brought a more youthful approach.”

Then, the tech bubble burst.

“Coming out of college in 2001, the landscape was riddled with the tech bubble and Enron,” Patel says. “Sales and trading was the sexy side of things, especially the compensation. But with wealth management, I could get involved on a more intricate level with clients as they went through big life changes. You feel more connected.”

Patel says his team’s “secret sauce” is merging that same combination of youth and wisdom. “The younger members are more adoptive and bring a new approach to today’s market realities. At 38, I’m one of the oldest people on the team.”

With their youth, Patel focuses his team on generational wealth and attracting the next cohort of investors. He encourages his younger team members to think outside the box when attracting new clients.

One thing Patel is certain about is his decision to focus on the markets instead of medicine.

“I truly admire what doctors do and what they give back to the world. But, I broke the mold,” Patel says, “which I sincerely don’t regret.”

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