The children now love luxury; they show disrespect for elders and love to chatter in place of exercise. Children are tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when their elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs and tyrannize over their teachers."

To many of you, this above-mentioned quote probably sounds like a bunch of parents commiserating with teachers at a PTA meeting at any time over the last 50 years. Actually, it is Socrates complaining about spoiled brats in the early 400 B.C.-era. Aristotle hadn't even been born when those comments were made.

As someone born during the baby boom to World War II-generation parents who grew up during the Great Depression, I've always found it comforting that people were appalled at the behavior of youngsters 2,400 years ago. As a 19th century French philosopher once observed, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

In this month's cover story, Senior Editor Jeff Schlegel takes a look at the potential crisis facing the financial advisory profession. Young people are indeed coming into the business, but it's too soon to gauge whether supply will meet demand.

That's not the only demographic issue confronting the profession. Like many other baby boomers, the majority of advisors don't have the means to retire. Nor is it obvious that the subset with the wherewithal to retire have any desire to do so.

One month ago I had the opportunity to watch excerpts of a focus group with affluent Americans conducted by Chicago-based Spectrem Group. Their universal and visceral hostility to the notion of retirement was striking.

One focus group participant who looked like the wisest and worldliest individual-and one from all appearances with the means to retire-at the table remarked that "retirement is a death sentence." The others nodded in agreement. One serious takeaway for advisors is that they might want to recalibrate their message and substitute financial independence for retirement. But I digress.

The good news for this profession is that the youngsters I've encountered at industry events appear to be everything the founders of the profession could hope for. The students from Texas Tech and Virginia Tech come across as people you'd be happy to recommend to friends in ten years.

Sadly, I can't say the same for all of their contemporaries, at least a few of whom must be watching reality shows like Jersey Shore. But I couldn't recommend many of my contemporaries either. And I guess Socrates felt the same way about Plato's generation.

But enough of this. Instead, after three tumultuous years, it's time to say thanks to everyone here at Financial Advisor, and all of our readers who have survived the most challenging environment of their lives. All have earned a happy holiday. See you in 2011.

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