Advisors need to align their businesses with the changing makeup of the American family if they hope to survive and thrive, says Pershing LLC in a report released Wednesday.

The American family in many instances is no longer a heterosexual couple with two or more children, but advisors’ perceptions of their clients’ families have not kept up with the changing demographics, Pershing says in Investor of the Future: The Quest for Tomorrow’s Affluent Clients Must Start Today.

The report was released at Insite 2013, Pershing’s annual financial solutions conference being held now.

Today, 51 percent of Americans are single and some are single parents, many women are the sole or primary breadwinners in the family, same sex marriage is now legal in 12 states and the District of Columbia, and racial minorities are projected to become the majority by 2042.

“It’s important that advisors recognize the unique financial needs of each of these groups to be able to deliver effective solutions,” says Pershing.

Kim Dellarocca, head of practice management and segment marketing at Pershing, says, “As we see continued shifts in wealth and advisory services, advisors that align their businesses with quickly evolving client dynamics will ensure continued mutual success and growth.”

Advisors who neglect to strategically engage the younger investors, women and minority groups risk reaching a plateau or a decline in their business in the future, says Pershing.

However, advisors should not try to serve all of these groups or they risk not meeting the clients’ expectations, Pershing says. They should specialize in a few of the market segments to deliver greater value and distinguish themselves from competitors.

The report also says advisors are missing out on an enormous opportunity to keep their clients’ children as clients. Half of the affluent clients have children 18 years of age or older, but advisors have only talked to about 35 percent of this investor group about their finances and future investments.

Only 52 percent of advisors offer expertise in intergenerational wealth transfer and less than half (46 percent) offer expertise in trust services.