In the early 1990s, the first generation of financial advisors looked upon baby boomers as the market of the future. Unfortunately, the 76 million individuals then between the ages of 29 and 45 years old were also seen as a group with limited immediate potential because most of their assets were locked away in an emerging retirement asset accumulation vehicle, otherwise known as 401(k) plans.

The current generation of young financial advisors isn’t waiting for tomorrow’s clients to accumulate the type of investment asset base that meets the minimums of many large RIA firms. Instead, they are turning to subscription-based fee schedules and other models to build viable businesses.

The interesting thing about generational transition is that it can sneak up on a professional in much the same way insolvency did for the famous Hemingway character Mike Campbell in The Sun Also Rises. Asked how he went bankrupt, Campbell replied, “gradually, then suddenly.”

Last year at Schwab Impact, a leading asset manager conducted a session focusing on different generational perspectives among baby boomers, members of Generation X and millennials. At the outset of the session, members of each generation were asked to stand. Many people were surprised to find that millennials already represented a major share of RIAs in the room.

What’s particularly impressive about many young advisors, including those profiled in this month’s cover story by senior editor Chris Robbins on page 46, is that they aren’t waiting for their clients to accumulate significant amounts of investable assets. That’s one reason a large number of them are winning clients at much earlier stages of their financial lives.

The implications for the financial advisory profession, and society as a whole, are far-reaching. Financial advisors may reach only a subset of the population, but most evidence reveals that the millennial generation, psychologically influenced by the Great Recession and vast amounts of student debt, is far more receptive to the message of holistic financial advice than previous cohorts.

Like prior generations, they inevitably will find creative methods to do it their way. But if this scenario plays out the way it easily could, sound financial habits coupled with sobriety could conspire to make for a bright future.