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. Xena Financial Planning founder Danika Waddell and All The Colors founder Diana Yáñez share an introduction to financial coaching and financial life planning including [Video or Podcast]: The shift in the role from “dictating advice” to letting clients drive more of the planning processRelated behavioral benefits of increased client “buy-in”The impact on meeting agendasAnd more… “If you put something into your GPS to go from Point A to Point B, it’s going to give you the fastest route. But you might want to take the scenic route. Or you might have errands to run on the way or you might want to go in a different direction. So, it really allows the client to say: ‘Yeah, I understand that might be the fastest way to get there, but this is the way I want to go.’” Integrating Coaching Into Financial Planning With Danika Waddell & Diana Yanez [Ross Marino, SHIFT With Ross Marino] ICYMI: AllStreet Wealth’s founder Thomas Kopelman with an extensive look at the strategies behind his social media marketing success [Article]: “People always ask me how I continue to post so much content. The name of the game is repurposing. For those who don’t know, repurposing is all about reusing existing content created in the past versus reinventing the wheel and posting something new every time. The latter requires 10x the time and is often a wasted effort. Instead, you should repurpose by reusing, editing, and reposting the great content you have already created.” Repurposing Digital Marketing Content: How I Grew My RIA Revenue To $16K/Month In Less Than 14 Months [Thomas Kopelman, Kitces.com] New Planner Recruiting’s Caleb Brown shares his thoughts on applying for positions you are slightly unqualified for and overqualified for [Video]: Why You Shouldn’t Apply For Jobs You Are Overqualified For [Caleb Brown, New Planner Recruiting] A thread on career advice for industry newcomers [Twitter Thread]: Parallels between becoming a marathoner and elite financial planner [Article]: “Training for a marathon is very tough. It requires dedication and years of consistent hard work. This is after you’ve decided on your training method. Training becomes your whole life. It can’t be something you do on the side now and again. For advisors, it starts with defining your niche or specialization and going deep into that space, and then staying on the path. It might mean years of study. Running and training for years to become and stay an elite runner is a lonely journey best traveled with other runners. The best runners in Kenya train in running camps with other runners, where they lead very simple lives together. As advisors it means working with our peers in study groups and surrounding ourselves with those who think alike.” What It Takes To Be An Elite Advisor [Jane Mepham, Advisor Perspectives] Daily Stoic podcast host Ryan Holiday shares the lessons he’s learned from interviewing top performers [Article]: “Over the last several years, I’ve had the chance to spend more than a few hundred hours interviewing people for the Daily Stoic podcast. And with over 100 million downloads of Daily Stoic’s episodes so far, the people I’ve gotten access to have been beyond my dreams. I am certainly better, smarter and wiser for the privilege.” 20 Best Lessons From Interviewing Today’s Top Performers [Ryan Holiday, RyanHoliday.net] Which was your favorite takeaway? Comment below! 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. Buckingham Wealth Partner’s Chief Planning Officer Jeff Levine shares [Podcast with Transcript]: New income tax planning opportunities in 2023 The 2 primary principles of tax planning A review of the inherited IRA rules How to reduce RMDs And more… “The other thing I would say is that a low-income year is a terrible thing to waste. Sometimes I hear people say, ‘I had almost no tax bill this year.’ And I look, and I say, ‘I’m so sorry.’ If you’ve done a good job saving over the course of your lifetime and you have a $0 tax bill or a very low tax bill, you have wasted the opportunity to use lower tax brackets. And there are a couple of ways you can do that.“ Smart Tax Moves For 2023 And Beyond [Christine Benz & Jeff Ptak, The Long View] FMG’s Chief Evangelist Samantha Russell on how to create high-quality video content simply by using your smartphone [Article]: “It’s hard to ignore the importance of video creation for financial advisors. U.S. adults watch 147 minutes of video per day. People want short-form videos more than any other content type, which makes creating a quality video essential. Creating videos is daunting because people tend to think they need expensive equipment and a professional setup. That’s not always the case, though. Over the last three years, I’ve successfully created over 107 videos using only my phone.” Six Steps To Creating High-Quality Video On Your Phone [Samantha Russell, Advisor Perspectives] Carl Richards on how to turn your biggest content marketing and digital product fears into valuable features [Video]: Overcoming Excuses For Not Releasing Creative Work [Carl Richards, The Society Of Advice] The case for better leveraging the gig economy [Article]: “While our industry is usually slow to adopt new trends like this and many advisors might be nervous to take the leap, it’s worth exploring…I’ve worked with many advisors who are having a hard time finding the right people – whether it’s operations or marketing professionals – and it’s time to think outside the box to access talent that you might not be able to otherwise afford.” Why Financial Advisors Should Delegate To The Gig Economy [Jessica Harrington, Carson Group] ICYMI: Michael Kitces goes a little deeper into the impact of ChatGPT on financial planning, including ChatGPT’s uses, limitations, and all of the ways financial planners still add value [Twitter Thread]: Which was your favorite takeaway? Comment below! 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. Define Financial founder Taylor Schulte on [Podcast interview begins at 8:35-mark]: The biggest mistakes new financial planners make The big trends he sees with new financial planners The future of the planning industry And more… “I think one of the biggest mistakes that planners make—and I can certainly fall into this trap as well—as we’re going through difficult times, clients are asking really good questions or they’re venting to you, and we want to solve their problem right away, we want to answer their question, we want to maybe predict the future. In these situations, when we’re going through a difficult time, I think a lot of what clients really want is for us just to listen. They just want an ear. They want somebody to say, ‘You’re going to be okay.’ They don’t need us to predict what the S&P 500 is going to do this year, or what the 10-year Treasury yield is going to be on 12/31. A lot the time they just want us to say, ‘You’re okay. We have a financial plan, we’ve modeled this out, and you are going to be okay.’” The Power Of The Plan In An Uncertain Market [Caleb Silver, Investopedia Express] Penny Phillips offers counterarguments to a number of generally-accepted industry practices [Video or Article]: “As an advisor, it’s easy to get distracted by noise in our industry. Every day you are inundated by hundreds of articles, blogs and webinars telling youwhat you have to do in order to build a successful business. What this advice often fails to include is the disclaimer that what works for one advisor may not necessarily work for you. There are many different ways to build a practice today and just because one strategy seems to be trending right now in our industry, doesn’t mean it requires your focus this year.” Four Business Myths Advisors Can Ignore This Year [Penny Phillips, WealthManagement.com] FMG Product Marketing Manager Niki Clark on the principles behind her exceptional social media engagement, the effectiveness of ungated content, and more [Podcast]: “If we help people, that’s what gets them coming back. Gated content does not get people coming back – at all. What gets people coming back is ‘Oh my gosh, you really care about me. You’re listening to me, you’re understanding me, and you want to help with no strings attached.’ That’s what works.” Generosity, Humility, & Intimacy: The Advisor’s Essential Guide To LinkedIn Relationship-Building With Niki Clark [Matt Halloran, Top Advisor Marketing Podcast] “Frugality Inertia,” “Social Aspiration Spending,” and more – Morgan Housel on the art of spending [Article]: “Behavioral finance is now well documented. But most of the attention goes to how people invest. Welch’s story shows how much deeper the psychology of money can go. How you spend money can reveal an existential struggle of what you find valuable in life, who you want to spend time with, why you chose your career, and the kind of attention you want from other people. There is a science to spending money – how to find a bargain, how to make a budget, things like that. But there’s also an art to spending. A part that can’t be quantified and varies person to person.” The Art And Science Of Spending Money [Morgan Housel, Collaborative Fund] Which was your favorite takeaway? Comment below! Follow me on social media for the latest updates: