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. The many benefits – when done properly – of “newsjacking” [5-minute read]: “Like many hot trends, newsjacking can be a powerful tool for raising your profile and growing your brand. But it’s not for everyone. Like everything else, it’s up to you to decide whether it’s right for your business.“ Should You Start Newsjacking? [Megan Carpenter, WealthManagement.com] A walk-through on how you can use LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator to identify your ideal clients and develop relationships through your content in about 15-30 minutes per day [Video: 29-minutes]: Everything You Need to Know About LinkedIn Sales Navigator: The Guide to Build Your Practice’s Brand [Alex Cavalieri, The Seven Group] If you’re considering whether to start an RIA or move into a lead planner position that requires a more entrepreneurial skillset, this podcast episode covers discerning when to listen to family and friends who may see your venture or career move as risky, evaluating the competing messages we receive about career strategy (“live your dream” vs. “prioritize stability”), and more [Podcast: 49-minutes]: “The ‘Goldilocks Zone’ is that point in your life where safety and security is predictable enough that you are willing to invite a little bit of risk. But is not so predictable that you are completely averse to change. You’re not so stuck in the cycle of debt and need and time poverty that you can’t climb out. And you’re not so wealthy and affluent that you have no desire to change that situation.” Tra Williams – Boss Brain: The Future of Entrepreneurship [Daniel Crosby, Standard Deviations] Three sources of a slow growth rate and how to overcome [Article: 7-minute read]: “Everyone wants to grow, stresses about growth, talks and invests resources in it, but very few people and businesses make significant progress. Progress may come, but it’s often hard and strenuous…” The Three Reasons You’re Not Growing (And What To Do About It) [Shauna Mace, Advisor Perspectives] Career advice thread from an industry veteran [Twitter thread]: Using handwritten notes to stand out among prospective and current clients [3-minute read]: “I am an introvert and have never been a hard prospector. Despite this, I built a billion-dollar solo advisory practice in 10 years, although I did have a running start as a decent broker. Other advisors ask me about my secret weapons” The Lost Art Of The Handwritten Note [Gil Baumgarten] 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 trade-off between gathering more information from prospective clients versus a higher probability of gathering some information [Video: 2-minutes]: One Small Website Tweak For Massively Higher Conversions [Samantha Russell, Twenty Over Ten] The decision whether to hire for compliance or DIY, the most common compliance mistakes to avoid, and issues involved with content marketing [Video: 9-minutes]: How To Manage Compliance For Your Financial Firm [Dasarte Yarnway, Altruist] Related: A Running List Of Practical Pointers Under The New Marketing Rule, by Max Schatzow Cerulli’s recent survey shows the top three qualities clients want in advisors [Article: 2-minute read]: “Clients have come to realize that their advisors cannot be experts in every aspect of managing their financial lives and that a team approach actually benefits them, while at the same time highly appreciating the personalization intrinsic to an advisor relationship,” according to the Cerulli report.” Top 3 Qualities Clients Want In Their Advisor: Cerulli [Bernice Napach, ThinkAdvisor] Evergreen content marketing ftw: The biggest mistakes advisors make with social media, the first thing advisors should do on social media, and LinkedIn’s tool to boost your ROI when engaging with your target prospective clients [Podcast: 43-minutes] “The Bank of New York Mellon Pershing put out a study at the end of 2020 comparing the average age of a new client an advisor gets from social media. In 2018 the age was 35-years old. There was a lot of people who were like ‘I’m not going to touch that with a 10-foot pole; they don’t have enough assets. I can’t serve them under the model I have.’ One year later, BNY asked the same question and the answer was 40-years old. So, knowing what we know about how 2020 looked like with everybody at home online all of the time, I would not be surprised if that average age shot up another 7 years or so. So, one of the reasons that it is mission-critical to use social media is just that it has gone from being a place where young people that maybe were not your audience you want to serve spend time, to where pretty much all of humanity is spending time.“ Building Out Your Social Media Strategy – Getting Down To The Tactics [Alex Cavalieri, The Advisor Lab] Ever feel bad about not being totally caught up with your to-do list at work? How to set better expectations and three ways to stop feeling guilty about your performance [Article: 3-minute read]: “Some tasks, even quite important ones, linger unfinished for a long time, and it’s easy to start feeling guilty or ashamed about what you have not yet completed. People experience guilt and its close cousin shame when they have done something wrong. Guilt is focused internally on the behavior someone has committed, while shame tends to involve feeling like you are a bad person, particularly in the context of bad behaviors that have become public knowledge. The fundamental question is whether these feelings are a good thing.“ You’re Never Going To Be “Caught Up” At Work: Stop Feeling Guilty About It [Art Markman, Harvard Business Review] 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 upside of saying “no,” or how to focus your practice to avoid (or stop) “under-earning while being overwhelmed” [Article: 4-minute read]: “As James Clear points out in ‘Atomic Habits,’ ‘Most people don’t have trouble focusing. They have trouble deciding.’ We say yes to so much that we’re forced to divide our efforts, which dilutes our efficacy. Clear’s advice is to ruthlessly trim our goals until we’ve said no to almost everything, ensuring that we stay focused on the few things that will add the most value.” How To Stay Focused, And Why We Lose Focus [Stephanie Bogan, InvestmentNews] Related: This Is The Test To Apply To Everything, by Ryan Holiday Why I’m Unreachable And You Should Be Too, by Peter Lievels (h/t Ashby Daniels) Kate Healy on the pandemic’s effect on attracting new financial planners (both recent graduates and career-changers), how to overcome impostor syndrome, and tips for public speaking (for speaking at industry conferences, etc.) [Video or Podcast: 40-minutes]: “As we think about diversity and looking in different areas, it is so much bigger than even just the gender or racial diversity. It’s diversity of backgrounds and experiences. You mentioned teachers and a lot of people have been talking about nurses that might get burned out after the pandemic and how great they would be in financial services because they are those natural relationship-builders with empathy and that helpfulness that we’re talking about. Or other kinds of career-changers. There’s just so much out there. That diversity of thought and approach to solutions.” Attracting And Developing NextGen Talent With Kate Healy [Kate Holmes, Innovating Advice] Related: New Planner Recruiting’s Caleb Brown on three approaches for new planners to get new clients [Video: 3-minutes]: 3 Ways To Get Clients As A New Planner [Caleb Brown, New Planner Recruiting] Experimenting with giving prospective clients space to naturally ask about your services in the initial meeting [Article: 2-minute read]: “Another client consulted with me. He wanted to improve his conversion rate. It was immediately apparent he was a compulsive talker. Our conversations were unfocused because he frequently digressed. His process for converting prospects wasn’t surprising. It involved a lot of talking and little listening. I asked him what would happen if, at the initial meeting with the prospect, he said nothing and waited for the prospect to speak.” The Worst Assumption Advisors Can Make [Dan Solin, Advisor Perspectives] What topic resonated with you? Comment below! Follow me on social media for the latest updates: