Financial Advisors Research

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Financial Advisors Research

Key Takeaways

Introduction

We have provided data surrounding the number of financial advisors that are in the United States, the average number of households that use the services of a financial advisor, and what the average amount of money is that is likely needed for a household or a person to consider using a financial advisor. We have defined a financial advisor as a personal financial advisor and/or Registered Investment Advisor, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As noted in the scoping we filtered out wealth managers when possible, but we did note when we could not do so in the research brief.

Number of Financial Advisors: United States

  • Data USA reports that in 2019, there were almost 380,000 personal financial advisors in the United States, with them being, on average, 45 years old. Unlike the BLS, Data USA defines personal financial advisors much more broadly, which could explain the difference in their numbers. They define them as "part of the Business & financial operations occupations, along with Agents & business managers of artists, performers, & athletes, Buyers & purchasing agents, farm products, Wholesale & retail buyers [except farm products], Purchasing agents [except wholesale], retail, & farm products, Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, & investigators. Data USA also provides the growth in this industry from 2018 to 2019, asserting that the number of people employed as Personal financial advisors has risen from 352,351 people in 2018 to 379,512 people in 2019 which represents a growth rate of 7.71%.

Average Number of Households: Uses the Services of a Financial Advisor

  • In better news, in this 2021 survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Northwestern Mutual, 26% of those Americans over the age of 18 report that financial advisors are their "most trusted source for financial advice." This is a stunning turnaround from those 2020 findings shared in the previous bullet point, when people said they trusted themselves over any other category presented to them, which included a financial advisor. It is also a 4% hike in what was reported in Northwestern Mutual's 2020 version of the same study. The driver behind this spike is probably the pandemic, which sharply put into perspective how important it is to have a better understanding of personal finances.

Average Amount of Money Needed: Using a Financial Advisor

Research Strategy

For this research on financial advisors in the United States, we leveraged the most reputable sources of information that were available in the public domain, including the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as reputable and credible sources such as Data USA, Forbes, CNBC, The Harris Poll, Northwestern Mutual, and Business Insider.

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