There are many ways of looking for the pockets of wealth that dot the country. The IRS and the Census Bureau have data that show it in the typical way. AdvisorOne set out to create a novel look at where the wealth is in the United States and compare it with a snapshot of the number of advisors in each area, which we call AdvisorOne Wealth Zones.
To create our Wealth Zones we started with a list of the Top 100 wealthiest zip codes ranked by adjusted gross income. We then grouped neighboring wealthy zip codes and compared the number of households (as determined by tax returns filed in each zone) to the number of subscribers to Investment Advisor and Research magazines. This allowed us to see if advisors were tripping over one another or if the wealthy were in “danger” of having their assets neglected.
In the end, we created 20 Wealth Zones. Most Wealth Zones were composed of several wealthy zip codes, like in Chicago, because advisor headcount varied greatly from zip codes that abutted one another and excluding them would radically skew the results.
There were a few surprises. There were a couple of zip codes in the Boston area on the Top 100, but they were spread out and didn’t make our cut. Fairfield County, Conn., had three towns on the Top 100 list, but they are not neighbors. Still, Connecticut is well-represented on this list.
We’ll be mining this data from time to time to provide what we hope is interesting, maybe even actionable, information for advisors. Last week, we unveiled the Top 10 Wealth Zones With Fewest Advisors per wealthy household. Our second effort is here, the Top 10 Wealth Zones With the Most Advisors per wealthy household.
10. St. Louis
Average AGI: $137,301
1 per 103
The Gateway City might not have come to mind when thinking of Wealth Zones, but one zip code in the city helped vault it into 10th place. Besides the pocket of wealth, St. Louis boasts Forest Park (site of the 1900 World’s Fair), the Cardinals (still looking good even without Albert Pujols) and the Gateway Arch (which sits along the mighty Mississippi).
9. Brentwood, Tenn.
Average AGI: $110,135
1 per 102
Situated outside Nashville, Brentwood is part of Williamson County, one of the wealthiest counties in the nation. It’s a perfect place to find clients and then run into Music City to enjoy country tunes. And the weather is moderate, with only about 10 inches of snow expected in an average year.
8. Austin, Texas
Average AGI: $200,771
1 per 93
The capital city has been a trendy place for the last couple decades. From a vibrant music scene to the state’s namesake university, Austin has drawn top corporations. They include the headquarters of Whole Foods Market, Dell Computer and regional offices of Apple, Google and others.
7. Summit, N.J. (Basking Ridge, Randolph, Morristown)
Average AGI: $126,504
1 per 97
New Jersey can claim its fair share of the wealth in the Tristate area and no place more than the Summit Wealth Zone, which includes Basking Ridge, Randolph, Morristown and, of course, Summit. Just a half hour from Manhattan, the area has been a magnet for the wealthy looking to escape the city. Advisors have followed them.
6. Greenwich, Conn.
Average AGI: $269,516
1 per 88