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What does it take to make it to the top 40 under 40?
On Wall Street's annual ranking of the 40 most successful employee channel financial advisors under the age of 40 opens a window on the philosophies, best practices and work ethics of the wealth management industry's up-and-coming stars in the employee advisory channel.

The measure of their success is objective: We rank these FAs in order of their annual T-12 production as of Sept. 30. But the stories of how they succeeded, what drove them and where they're headed next are personal tales.

While their investment strategies, business models and personalities might be strikingly diverse, what's even more striking are the characteristics they share. As a group:

• Their investment styles tend to fall into one of two categories: stock pickers versus arbitrageurs. But members of both groups insist that they are risk averse and virtually all characterize their approach to investing as conservative.

• They view wealth management as an increasingly commoditized business and seek to set themselves apart by striving to offer their clients value above and beyond simple diversification and asset allocation.

• This is a flock of early birds with an extreme work ethic. Ask them to describe a typical day and it often is like this: Rise early, hit the gym, get to the office by 6 a.m. to plan for the day. Spend the morning talking to clients and the afternoon prospecting for new ones.

• This is a group without a comfort zone. Instead, they are constantly seeking out the next challenge.

What does it take to be among the best of the best? Dig in to the 10 profiles on the following pages and find out.

To read the full story, click here.