Industry Insights: Industry Players by Advisor Headcount
When first starting out in the industry, you may be curious about which firms are the dominant players. Sure, you are probably familiar with the big names like Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo, but quantifying their role – and impact – in the market is a bit different.
There are a variety of ways to measure market position, of course. Today we look at how firms stack up by advisor headcount.
Total advisor estimates vary rather widely. Cerulli Associates estimates there are around 300,000 financial advisors in the United States. Michael Kitces recently explained why this figure is likely overstated with a more meaningful figure around 80,000.
Regardless, below are a handful of the better-known firms and their respective advisor headcounts to provide a general lay of the land:
17,355 – Merrill Lynch.
16,109 – LPL Financial.
16,000 – Edward Jones.
15,712 – Morgan Stanley.
14,400 – Wells Fargo.
9,931 – Ameriprise.
9,000 – Mass Mutual.
7,800 – Raymond James.
7,500 – Charles Schwab.
6,822 – UBS.
5,507 – J.P. Morgan.
2,244 – Stifel.
1,800 – Waddell & Reed.
1,800 – RBC Wealth Management.
1,237 – Fisher Investments.
1,048 – Cetera Advisors.
922 – Vanguard Personal Advisor Services.
900 – XYPN Network.
592 – Edelman Financial Engines.
“Weekend Content for New Financial Planners” is a collection of articles, podcasts, videos, etc. that I’ve been consuming regarding breaking into financial planning, industry trends, career development, and more. Making a career change as a mid-career professional: “But as a young professional exposed to the effects of the Great Recession and two rounds of layoffs in as many years, I decided to take a step back and consider what was motivating me both personally and professionally. Through that process of discovery and self-reflection, I came to realize I wasn’t on a good path at all. I had no defined goals beyond the next promotion; I wasn’t building anything I valued and I wasn’t doing work that positively affected people.Why I Became A Financial Advisor At Age 40 (Joey Schultz, FinancialPlanningAssociation.org) Two podcast episodes exploring working full-time and launching a firm on the side: “I knew going into it I did not want to accumulate debt to start the business. … And so through the first year, in order to extend my runway a little bit, I always worked a part-time job or a side-gig.”A Non-Traditional Approach To Building A Firm: Working Full-Time To Remain Cash Flow Positive: The Career Of Tyler Landes (Maddy Roche, XYPlanningNetwork.com) “From 2011 to 2017 I ran this as a side hustle while still working at Crayola. …I actually wasn’t very heavily marketing. But what I was doing was a lot of in-person networking. So I would just take vacation days from work and go to conferences…”Lifting The Mental Health Stigma: How Prioritizing Happiness And Changing Careers Can Help You Live A More Fulfilling Life, The Career Of Dave Rowan (Maddy Roche, XYPlanningNetwork.com) Networking in a virtual environment: “Network in a way that feels true to who you are. Are people wowed by your intellect? Think about how to share digestible nuggets of that brilliance in online posts or updates. If your brainpower typically comes to light in the discussion after a meaty talk or lecture, look for virtual events focused around a thought leader, where there is plenty of opportunity for peer-to-peer conversation or Q&A.”How to Network When You Can’t Meet Up With People ($) (Alexandra Samuel, WSJ.com) Three helpful articles as you study for the CFP® exam: “What is it about walking, in particular, that makes it so amenable to thinking and writing? The answer begins with changes to our chemistry. When we go for a walk, the heart pumps faster, circulating more blood and oxygen not just to the muscles but to all the organs—including the brain. Many experiments have shown that after or during exercise, even very mild exertion, people perform better on tests of memory and attention.“Why Walking Helps Us Think (Ferris Jabr, NewYorker.com) “The findings surprised us: despite the fact that an overwhelming 69% of the CMOs (Chief Medical Officers) described their current stress level as severe, very severe, or worst possible, the majority were not burned out according to the Maslach Burnout Inventory.”Why Some People Get Burned Out And Others Don’t (Kandi Wiens and Annie McKee, HBR.org) “For the most part, this is helpful. Smartphones organize our days, keep us updated on the news, and allow us to communicate with people out of our physical reach. But when it comes to growing and developing our memories, is technology helping or hurting us?”How To Build A Stronger Memory (Philip White, HBR.org) What topic resonated with you? Comment below. Follow me on social media for the latest updates:
“The Need for Financial Planning” covers financial planning topics and ties in data suggesting the opportunity for new and prospective advisors to improve America’s financial health. A tweet from Michael Kitces over the weekend about Northwestern Mutual’s latest survey caught my eye: 20% is a pretty significant chunk of these consumers looking for an advisor for the first time(!). The XY Planning Network‘s advisors seem poised to best service this new influx of prospective clients. They have built their fee-only compensation model (monthly retainer vs. AUM-only) to specifically serve these generations. And while experiencing huge growth since its launch in 2014 (30 members its first year), XYPN’s total advisor count still stands at “only” 1,000+. This implies a significant number of Gen X, Y, and Z households “available” to XYPN advisors due to the coronavirus. A few more statistics from the survey on how these generations are coping with the fallout from the virus: • 25% have dipped into personal savings or emergency funds (excluding retirement accounts)• 14% have borrowed money from family or friends• 10% have dipped into retirement accounts/savings• 8% have applied for a loan from a financial lender• 8% have sold investments to raise cash• 6% have used the cash value of a life insurance policy The need for advisors willing to serve this market with real planning needs could not be overstated. Follow me on social media for the latest updates:
“Weekend Content for New Financial Planners” is a collection of articles, podcasts, videos, etc. that I’ve been consuming regarding breaking into financial planning, industry trends, career development, and more. Persevering through a financial crisis to create your dream career: “My advice is, don’t give up. Learn where you are. And I would say like if you don’t like where you are, you can move on.” #FASuccess Ep 177: Career-Changing To Become A Financial Advisor In The Midst Of A (Financial Crisis And) Bear Market, with Sara Stanich (Michael Kitces, Kitces.com) Signs of hiring amid COVID-19: “Amid a pandemic, lockdowns and unprecedented volatility, advisor Evelyn Zohlen filled not one, but two open positions on her team. Landing the right talent is a process — one she was reluctant to put on hold, Zohlen explains. “We found these candidates and we didn’t want to let them go and say, ‘Hey we’ll get back to you when this dies down.” Advisors Find New Routines, and Coworkers, During Coronavirus (Andrew Weisch, Financial-Planning.com) Looking at virtual interviewing from an employer’s perspective: “Let the interviewee know upfront what the agenda is (a sample agenda could be: welcome, introductions of team members, overview of role, questions to candidate, questions from candidate, closing), and let them know you will be taking notes so they know there will be pauses and possible keystroke sounds.“ Mastering Your Virtual Interviewing (Caleb Brown, NewPlannerRecruiting.com) Avoiding COVID-19 burnout: “Bohns says she avoids scheduling evening and weekend meetings, and recommended preserving traditional weekends to the extent possible. She is not alone: American workers were already vulnerable to burnout before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Confined to home with additional domestic responsibilities and increasingly fluid work-life boundaries, they face even greater stress and exhaustion.” Are You Always Exhausted? The Burnout is Real for U.S. Workers (Meera Jagannathan, MarketWatch.com) Initial industry licensing: “One of the most common questions candidates we receive from candidates: which license should I pursue first, the Series 65 or the Securities Industry Essentials “SIE” exam? While there are nuanced exceptions, these exams are designed to prepare candidates for distinct career paths.” Your First Series License — Series 65 vs. SIE Exam (Jesse Lineberry, NewPlannerRecruiting.com) A tragic personal story from Morgan Housel with takeaways on risk tolerance and decision-making: “We knew we were taking risks when we skied. We knew that going out of bounds was wrong, and that we might get caught. But at 17 years old we figured the consequences of risk meant our coaches might yell at us. Maybe we’d get our season pass revoked for the year.“ The Three Sides of Risk (Morgan Housel, Collaborative Fund) What topic resonated with you? Comment below. Follow me on social media for the latest updates: