Physicians need financial advice, especially early in their careers, but many financial advisors are not positioned to offer them advice.

According to the American Medical Association Insurance Agency’s 2015 report on U.S. physicians’ financial preparedness, nearly half of American doctors feel they’re behind in preparing for their financial future. Despite high average annual incomes, 41% of physicians younger than 40 had less than $100,000 in retirement savings.

“Financial health is a good analogy for physical health,” says Evan Welch, partner and chief investment officer at Antaeus Wealth Advisors, a Boxborough, Mass.-based registered investment advisor. “Today, with the Affordable Care Act, doctors’ incomes are materially lower than they were in previous decades, and they can’t afford to mess around. They want advice.”

Welch says it’s crucial for advisors to reach physicians while they’re young, but much of the advice industry balks because the doctors have low levels of assets.

“Many young doctors aren’t making six-figure incomes,” he says, noting that after medical school the first stage of a doctor’s career is residency at a teaching hospital or in another clinical setting, which can take three to six years. During a residency, doctors typically make between $35,000 and $70,000 a year depending on their specialty and location. Meanwhile, they’re likely carrying $200,000 to $350,000 in student debt.

But after they become full-fledged attending doctors or start private practices, their income and ability to invest increase exponentially. By that time, it’s difficult—or too late—for advisors to effectively prospect for their business.

“Doctors don’t know who to trust,” Welch says. “A neurosurgeon doesn’t necessarily know how best to allocate capital. They’re approached by insurance salespeople, or they get bad advice from a mentor or another doctor, and they get into what I call ‘dumb doctor deals.’ Real estate schemes, venture capital, angel investing. I’ve seen things blow up in their faces.”

Advisors who want to serve this market have to start prospecting while the doctors are young—which means being willing to accept less assets. And they need to know how to target physicians properly.

“Doctors don’t have a lot of time, says Andrew McFadden, the 32-year-old founder of Panoramic Financial Advice, a Fresno, Calif.-based RIA. “I was considering using social media, but when I asked doctors what kind of social media they used, they told me that they didn’t have time to use it much.”

Instead, McFadden, who focuses on young doctors as a niche, has concentrated his efforts on blog posts and an online newsletter.

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