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. Kinder Institute founder George Kinder and Communications Director Lora Woodward speak with XY Planning Network’s Maddy Roche on the benefits of the EVOKE® process for clients and your firm: “I began to realize that this longing for a different life was endemic. Everybody I met had something like that. And so it made me realize that as I was gathering these financial skills to give myself freedom, I realized that these financial skills were meant to give everybody freedom. And so I used what I learned on myself to, first of all, deliver freedom to clients and then to train financial advisors that it’s not about the money, it’s about who the client wants to be.” Life Planning As A Fiduciary Responsibility: An Interview With George Kinder And Lora Woodward, Episode #274 (Maddy Roche, XY Planning Network) A new survey from Broadridge shows the four types of personalized information most requested by investors: “To meet these new demands, advisers need to adapt their processes in ways that allow them to focus on personalization, preferences and online behavioral data to deliver the right recommendations and services at the right time — and technology empowers them to do just that.” The New Face Of Wealth Advice: It’s Personalized (Fred Duden, InvestmentNews) An update on the mix of advisors who have returned to the office and data on when and if others will return: “‘I am now permanently working from home with no desire to go back to the office,’ says Michael Whitman, a managing partner at Millennium Planning Group, in an email. Now that his clients are comfortable with virtual meetings, he says the shift has been great for him. ‘The hardest part is working with [my] spouse next to me and a two-and-a-half-year-old. However, the rewards are so much better than any of the potential issues.’” At Home And Not Going Back: Most Advisors Don’t Plan To Return To The Office Full Time (Ryan Neal, Financial-Planning.com) A collection of stories of advisors successfully building around a niche, four questions to ask as you consider yours, and what helps make the most profitable niche: “Nick Giacoumakis, who founded New England Investment & Retirement of North Andover, Massachusetts, and Naples, Florida, grew up and worked in the construction business. As a result, he’s focused his advisory group on clients such as general contractors, subcontractors and their employees. The advisor says his industry knowledge proved to be invaluable over the years and especially during the pandemic. Giacoumakis’ firm helped some clients cut through red tape to sign up for the Paycheck Protection Program and supported others looking for bridge loans in the face of business hiccups as contract deadlines loomed.” The Best Ways To Find And Build Your Client Niche (Ginger Szala, ThinkAdvisor) How to raise your WFH ergonomics game: “If you’re working or learning from home, you know the toll it can take on your body and mind. You might not have a supportive chair to sit on or the most comfortable tech to accommodate long hours in front of a computer at home. But you don’t have to suffer through it, and you don’t necessarily have to spend a ton of money on a solution.” Lift Your Head And Lower Your Arms – You Might Just Feel Better (Ruth Tam & Sylvie Douglis, NPR) 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. NorthAvenue founder Kristen Moosmiller’s story of persevering through the Great Recession and industry obstacles to build a comprehensive planning firm intent on changing the industry: “From there, I really focused on, while I was working on my experience requirement, just reading as much as I could (meaning continuing education) and networking with people. Over the next year or so, I was speaking up a lot in client meetings and sharing things that I had learned and become confident in. Soon after, I had my CFP® designation and from there we were transitioning about half of the clients that I was working with that advisor to myself.” Holistic Financial Planning Practice From Vision To Reality, Episode 14 (Kenneth Robinson, Alliance of Comprehensive Planners) New Planner Recruiting’s Caleb Brown on three things hiring managers are looking for and one question you need to prepare for: Preparing For Your Financial Planning Job Interview (Caleb Brown, New Planner Recruiting) Employee benefits to consider negotiating for after COVID-19’s impact on the industry: “When you’re offered a new job or are trying to compare your current benefits to the market, you need to make sure you look at the entire benefits package and weigh what will affect your life most. To understand your current total package competitiveness, you should compare your benefits against similar organizations in your financial planning ‘tribe.’” Post COVID-19 Employee Benefits: What to Look for In Your Compensation Package (Joey Stemmle & David G. Hampton, Financial Planning Association) 7 principles for networking as you work from home: “Pandemic or no, for people who want to accelerate learning about new subjects, strengthen career prospects or meet social goals, ‘networking is at the heart of finding opportunities and exploring them,’ according to Miranda Kalinowski, head of global recruiting for Facebook. Fortunately, while team meetings and industry conventions have moved online, the new normal has opened as many doors as it has closed. … People you reach out to may be more open to connecting now, Ms. Kalinowski said, because they are no longer commuting or taking business trips, and have more time to talk.” How To Network From Home (Julie Weed, The New York Times) Morningstar’s virtual annual conference session covering the future of financial planning: “And in a push-back on one aspect of technology, Cathy Curtis, chief executive of Curtis Financial Planning, challenged the notion that robo-advice platforms represent a renewed threat to traditional financial planning. ‘I don’t believe hardly anything about financial planning can be robo-advised, because so much of the relationship is about the conversation,’ she said. ‘One of the reasons I chose women as my niche is because women like to talk. They’re very open about they’re thinking, and they rarely talk about their portfolio.’ Phillips agreed that robos are ‘not something that threatens financial advice,’ but said he does believe that ‘there will be a robo enhancement of financial planning.’” Future Of Financial Planning Takes Emphasis Off The Assets (Jeff Benjamin, InvestmentNews) 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. Samuel Deane’s origin story, mission, and well-developed niche: “When I sit down with clients that work in tech and they’re looking for an advisor, I’m really confident that that client will choose me because I’ve built the business specifically for this demographic.” Finding And Growing A Purpose-Fueled Niche (Steve Sanduski, Between Now And Success) A more effective approach (though potentially counterintuitive) for reassuring clients: “By blindly espousing the ‘it’s not different this time’ mantra, you may be creating more stress, which is the opposite of what you intend. According to experts, too much “forced positivity” can be toxic. Of course, we want to believe everything will turn out alright. Perhaps an effective treatment or a vaccine will be found and life will return to normal. But putting a positive spin on what’s obviously a dire situation trivializes legitimate concerns and can be counter-productive. As one expert correctly noted: ‘…promulgating messages of positivity denies a very real sense of despair and hopelessness, and they only serve to alienate and isolate those who are already struggling.’” It May Be Different This Time (Dan Solin, AdvisorPerspectives.com) Recent survey detailing robo-advisor adoption: “Across demographic groups, use of robo-advisors is highest among consumers with at least $500,000 in investable assets, according to a survey of more than 5,400 households by data and analytics firm Hearts & Wallets. Nearly half of consumers using an automated portfolio consider themselves either “experienced” or “very experienced” at investing, and 57% of these investors also use financial professionals. Robos are making inroads with wealthy millennials and experienced investors, something that should concern established firms,” Laura Varas, CEO and founder of Hearts & Wallets, said in a statement.” Who Actually Uses Robo Advisors? New Data Reveals Surprising Answers (Ryan Neal, Financial-Planning.com) 9 proven tactics for building professional relationships: “When I was 21 years old, I had just graduated from UC Berkeley, worked at a cubicle at Intel, and was living at my mom’s house. I had 0 online presence, network, or mentors. Fast forward 20 years later and MUCH of my success can be attributed to the people I’ve met over the years. Tim Ferriss, Andrew Warner, my biz partner Chad Boyda, referrals to my lawyer Derek Newman and many more.” How To Win Friends And Meet Influential People (Noah Kagan, OkDork.com) Embracing your competitive streak: “Entrepreneurs who have this strength like to have timelines, deadlines and day-to-day performance targets both for themselves and their team but can also get in their head when things don’t go their way. Instead of looking at a competitive spirit as an unattractive quality, come to appreciate it as an important asset in being an entrepreneur.” Why You Should Embrace Your Competitive Personality (Nick Wolny, Entrepreneur.com) The 5 main ingredients for every successful studying schedule (CFP® exam anyone?): “The correct answer is that the perfect routine is one you can stick to and will let you reach your goals. Everyone has different personalities, constraints and preferences—so the perfect routine will be different. That’s true, but it’s also unhelpful. Obviously some routines are better than others, even if we’re all unique. Instead of specifying an exact routine—let’s look at the ingredients any such routine would have. Get the essential recipe right and the spices are up to you.” The Perfect Studying Routine (Scott Young, Ultralearning) What topic resonated with you? Comment below! Follow me on social media for the latest updates: