Planning. It's what advisors do -- except, apparently, for themselves. When it comes to their own eventual exit from the business, how prepared are they? Not very, according to anxious industry-watchers.

And either that will have to change, or firms may start disappearing as their principals age out of the profession.

A Franklin Templeton report finds that although two thirds of prospective sellers of RIA businesses "anticipated a change of ownership within five years," just 36 percent said they'd taken any serious action to initiate a succession plan.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.