Intelligent Advisor

Planning, Niches Some Common Denominators Among Sucessful FAs

What differentiates top advisors? According to a recent Fidelity Advisor Insights study, planning and concentrating on specific client segments has a lot to do with it.

High performing advisors—which Fidelity identified as those with AUM that was 75 percent higher than average advisors and double the average advisor’s compensation—earn an average of $422,000, compared to the $212,000 average advisors earn. Moreover, these successful advisors manage an average of $100 million in client assets, versus the $57 million AUM by other advisors.

Much of this success can be attributed to having a plan in place. More than half of high performing advisors have a succession plan and 58 percent have a written business continuity plan. Only 27 percent of average advisors have a succession plan and only 37 percent have a continuity plan.

“Everyone needs to start to plan a little bit more, think more strategically about what they want to accomplish,” says Brian Nelson, vice president of practice management for National Financial, a division of Fidelity Investments.

Fidelity also found these successful advisors are branching out more, with 42 percent of high-performing advisors likely to target younger investors. Only 17 percent of other advisors are doing the same. Same holds true with female investors, with high performing advisors being more likely to approach women than the average advisor.

Along with expanding the client profile, successful advisors are also offering a wider variety of services. More than half are more willing to spend money on technology, with 74 percent saying technology increases value to the clients.

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Diana Britton

Diana Britton is the Managing Editor of and REP. Magazine, covering asset management and independent broker/dealers from all angles. A native of Los Angeles, she now lives in...

Ryan W. Neal

Ryan W. Neal is an associate editor for Originally from Sacramento, Calif., Ryan studied English and philosophy at UC Santa Barbara and found his way into journalism. After...
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