Most financial advisors fall in the 90th percentile of U.S. workers according to average annual earnings, SmartAsset reported in its latest study of the best-paying places for financial professionals.
The average financial advisor made about $120,000 in 2021, more than double the income of the average worker, who earned $58,300 in the same year, the report said, citing Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
A mixed picture emerged in the research when it comes to financial advisor pay changes. Nationally, average earnings for financial advisors stayed relatively flat between 2019 and 2021, growing by only 0.6%. Across the 50 metro areas in the study, pay increased in 33 of them and decreased in the remaining 17.
The biggest increase in a metro area was 42.4%, and the biggest drop was 21.5%.
SmartAsset noted that although the advisory career sets up many people for financial success, some places are more favorable for pay than others.
To find the best-paying places for financial advisors, SmartAsset looked at data on 50 of the largest U.S. metro areas, and compared those cities across four metrics:
- Average financial advisor pay, vs. national average of $119,960.
- Two-year change in financial advisor pay (2019-2021), vs. 0.6% nationally.
- Ratio of average financial advisor earnings to average earnings of all workers in the metro area, vs. 2.06 nationally.
- Housing costs as a percentage of financial advisor pay, vs. 11.2% nationally.
Researchers ranked each metro area in every metric, giving equal weight to all four metrics. They then found each metro area’s average ranking and used that average to determine its position on the final list of the best of best-paying places.
See the gallery for SmartAsset’s 15 best-paying metro areas for financial advisors.