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. New Planner Recruiting’s Caleb Brown shares the most important skill for new financial planners to develop and tactics for doing so [Video, 3-minutes]: The Most Important Skill For A New Planner (Caleb Brown, New Planner Recruiting) Snappy Kraken’s Robert Sofia covers how advisors can turn cold leads into prospects with a more effective conversion system [Article]: “Every day there are droves of qualified prospects seeking financial advice online. Where are they? Why does it feel so hard to connect with them? And why are other financial advisors having success prospecting online? Acquiring new clients online can be tough, but it’s the nature of the advisory business. After all, you are selling a lifelong relationship — and that takes a tremendous amount of trust to establish. Also, it deeply affects an individual’s sense of financial security. Because the stakes for your clients are greater than with an average service provider, a high degree of comfort needs to exist before a business relationship can be established. Unfortunately, this is precisely where many advisors fall short.” 6 Steps For Turning Cold Leads Into Long-Term Clients (Robert Sofia, ThinkAdvisor) Samantha Russell of Twenty Over Ten with 7 tactics her advisors are using to double their social media engagement (and convert followers into prospects) [Article]: “It’s clear; social media is one of the most effective ways for advisors to grow their client list. But, like other marketing methods, every platform is different. The content that performs well on your blog will not necessarily perform well on social. People use social media to escape from the day to day and relax and to make personal connections. With that user intent in mind, you can develop a social media marketing strategy that increases engagement and attracts clients.“ How My Clients Are Doubling Their Social Engagement (Samantha Russell, Advisor Perspectives) While adapting advisory practices logistically to the pandemic has been necessary, founder of The Oechsli Institute, Matt Oechsli reviews the four foundational attributes his research has shown sustain “elite” advisors [Article]: “The expression on this advisor’s face was a dead giveaway; it was obvious that this was an area that needed attention. … Fully embracing these 4 Basic Success Tenets is not easy. Yet, our research over the past 30 years, amidst three decades of external impact factors, highlights these four tenets as a constant within elite advisors.“ The 4 Basic Success Tenets Of Elite Advisors (Matt Oechsli, WealthManagement.com) Another piece of content this week from Twenty Over Ten’s Samantha Russell with principles for an effective 2021 marketing plan [Video]: Want To Get New Clients In 2021 From Digital Marketing? Follow These Five Principles (Samantha Russell, Twenty Over Ten) What topic resonated with you? 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. Financial advisor marketing consultant Sara Grillo shares the one word that gets qualified prospects to say ‘yes’ [Article]: “When you want to persuade someone to do something, you have to show them the positive opposite of what they are doing. Instead of arguing or throwing confusing claptrap at them, help the person visualize a more positive scenario that is the result of behaving differently from how they are currently.” The One Word That Closes Prospects (Sara Grillo, Advisor Perspectives) ICYMI: Michael Kitces and Carl Richards explore why it can be difficult to select a niche, an alternative perspective to make it easier, and the counter-intuitive reasons why niches work [Video with Transcript]: “I think it makes sense to me why people would be nervous because…it feels paradoxical. It feels like, ‘Wait, I’m supposed to say ‘no’?’ That’s the first thing; it’s like, I’m supposed to say ‘no’? Then you also get this… So first on the understanding, and then I think we can talk about, what are some things we can think about to shift that mindset? Because it is completely a mindset. It’s a story that we’ve told ourselves. It’s a story that the industry has told us. We’ve been taught, if they have a pulse, they’re a prospect. So I think saying ‘no’ can feel paradoxical.” Kitces & Carl Ep 51: Fighting The Fear Of Focusing When Trying To Select A Niche (Michael Kitces, Kitces.com) A dash of creativity combined with technology to create personalized, engaging annual reviews – along with 2 samples from top advisors [Article]: “The key is personalization. Personalized marketing at scale can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50%, lift revenues by as much as 15% and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by as much as 30%, according to the Harvard Business Review. And 84% of people who work with a financial advisor feel personalized content is important, according to a separate study by financial planning technology firm eMoney Advisor.” What Spotify Can Teach Advisors About Personalized Marketing (Ryan Neal, Financial-Planning.com) Eschewing email for more phone calls and video meetings to gain a deeper understanding of clients in order to create a stronger bond, improve the client experience, and build a long-term relationship [Article]: “As a profession, we must continue to find ways to improve our firms and enhance our client relationships. My system is one easy way to get started. But we need to move beyond this. The client experience is going to drive growth and attrition. Prioritizing phone calls and video meetings over emails will help us better understand our clients and find new ways to enhance their experience. The advisors who bond with their clients will win.” Why I Stopped Emailing My Clients (Matt Reiner, Advisor Perspectives) Cal Newport and Ryan Holiday on the art of “time blocking” [Podcast]: “Where time blocking’s going to really start to shine more is when you’re juggling a lot. And you have to figure out, okay, ‘I have meetings at various times that I don’t control. I have tasks that are due at various times. I have larger projects that are due at various times. Progress needs to be made.’ … So a lot of people who are in, let’s say like a standard ‘knowledge work’ job, are in a consistent state of having this pool of things that are on their plate that is too big to get your arms around on any one day. It’s just big and stressful. And so every day is like ‘how do we construct a day that is not only going to make the best attack into that, but also going to make sure we on track for all of the different things that we need to be on track for. In those scenarios, time blocking does really well.” Cal Newport On The Art Of Time Blocking (Ryan Holiday, Daily Stoic) What topic resonated with you? 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. The art of coining terms like your firm name, proprietary planning process, etc., adding constraints to increase your creativity, the importance of iteration, and much, much more [Video]: Marketing Lessons With Jack Butcher (David Perell, Perell.com) Morningstar’s Director of Retirement Research David Blanchett on three sources of wealth advisors fail to consider in tandem when designing a portfolio’s risk/return profile [Article]: “Advisors who limit client wealth planning to their portfolio are missing a big part of doing their job correctly. Instead, they should be looking at a client’s total economic worth, including assets and liabilities, to determine the best ‘holistic’ portfolio, said David Blanchett, Morningstar’s director of retirement research.” Blanchett: 3 Important Wealth Sources Advisors Overlook (Ginger Szala, ThinkAdvisor) Dream Financial Planning founder and planner Lamar Watson shares his journey through the industry and how he built a career around his strengths [Podcast with Transcript]: “It’s like I’ve heard other people say ‘You can either work on your dream, or you can work on your boss’s dream.’ I think just taking that leap of faith, taking that jump, and deciding to bet on myself and kind of build my dream and help my clients build their dream, has been very, very rewarding. So don’t be afraid to kind of make that jump and bet on yourself.” Ep #289: Navigating The Finance Industry: The Career Of Lamar Watson (Maddy Roche, XY Planning Network) Bob Veres makes his 2021 industry predictions including the effects of continuing to operate virtually (nationwide competition and the importance of niche, hiring opportunities, performance evaluation, and culture), tax changes, and the flat-fee trend [Article]: “Complain if you must, but these upcoming revisions to the tax code are a blessing for the profession. Rising taxes create some of your best marketing opportunities, because potential clients are not enthusiastic about seeing their tax bill go up. The most successful marketing campaigns in the coming year will focus on how you can minimize the impact of this new round of confiscatory legislation, whether through shifting income from one year to another, handling Roth conversions, bunching deductions, setting up trusts, prefunding charitable contributions or recommending more sophisticated planned giving strategies.” The State Of The Profession – And What To Look For In The Coming Year (Bob Veres, Advisor Perspectives) Differentiate between proximate versus root causes before setting your 2021 strategy [Article]: “What is the real problem? Often when advisors do strategic planning they are thinking about the solution. But the best solution to any problem is knowing the problem! And often the real problems are found in data. Before starting to make a list of goals and plans for your firm, get a handle on what key performance indicators (KPI) you are trying to move. Are revenues falling? Is lead ratio falling? Is the close ratio falling? Are expenses increasing at a rate faster than revenues?” 3 ‘Must Ask’ Questions To Guide Your Strategic Plans (Angie Herbers, ThinkAdvisor) What topic resonated with you? Comment below! Follow me on social media for the latest updates: