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Financial Planner and Advisor Salaries

By: CareerFactsheet.com- Updated: Jun. 21,2017
Becoming a Financial Planner

Salary for any job is probably a person’s number one motivator. Both Financial Planner and Advisors both involve work in financial related expertise, math, customer service, networking and a Bachelor’s degree as a minimum. Both also have the capability to earn a salary and commission. The greatest differences between the two are salary/commission amount and attaining the required Certification as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

Median Pay I

According to the Department of Labor the median pay in 2016 of a Personal Financial Advisor is:

  1. $43.53 per hour
  2. $90,530 annually

This is decent salary for working in the financial advisory field without having a CFP and rises up to $111,880.

Financial Planners/Advisors/Trainees Salary II

Wells Fargo potential salary:

  1. $64,600 average or between $30K -$153k.
  2. Bonuses such as stock options, cash and profit sharing data is not listed.

Merrill Lynch potential salary:

  1. $54,470 average/potential $35k-$105k.
  2. $7,188 average cash bonus/potentially $2,000 - $30k.
  3. $4,700 average stock bonus or between $2,500 -$6,000
  4. $11,500 average commission/potentially $1,000 - $25k.

Fisher Investments potential salary:

  1. $20k-$50k with less than 5 years’ experience.
  2. $50k-$100k with more than 5 years’ experience.
  3. Stock options and incentives.
  4. Paid time off.

T Rowe Price potential salary:

  1. $15.00 per hour (interns)
  2. $33k-$52K (variety of financial positions

Certifications in the Financial Industry: III

  • (CFP) Certified Financial Planner – Providing in-depth calculations and creating financial plans of investments, savings, spending for client’s goals.
  • (CPA) Certified Public Accountant - known for preparing tax returns, public accounting and/or auditing.
  • (CFA) Chartered Financial Analyst – known to work as institutional investors, Wall Street, broker-dealers, financial/statistical analyst or government.

Each of the above sound interchangeable in the realm of finance however, they each have their own unique roles and duties. You notice that there isn’t a specific named certification for Financial Advisor, because recently they have the option to take the CFP exam just as a Financial Planner, if they meet all the requirements. If they, choose not to take the CFP exam, they can still work on a minor level with clients and their finances, however their salary may not increase much.

Note: The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors announced that as of Jan. 1 2013, NAPFA would only accept the certified financial planner (CFP) designation for people who applied to be NAPFA-registered financial advisors.

Career Potentials: V

Financial Planning Duties

Over the next decade from 2010-2020 careers in the financial industry are expected to be the occupation that will grow the fastest. The amount of jobs and the salary amounts predicted are over 30% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Though the economy is struggling at this time and retirements for baby boomers from social security will be null, this somehow will more than likely push people into investing more into their own future. In light of recent financial investment frauds, betrayal and the loss of public trust, keeping this industry’s predicted growth will be challenging. Consider, aside from the median or extremes in financial salaries a person could earn between $42k -$111k as a starting point or on the upswing of their career, this is not a dark choice for a high school or college student even mid-life career change decision.

With regards to potential salaries, there is definite statistics out there that indicate if you work in large cities on the either coasts, such as New York, California even in Texas, potentially your salary could be as high as $166,000 a year. Working for a large firm such as Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Bank of America, Ameriprise Financial, JP Morgan Chase or Edward Jones is an indicator of earning potential.

T Rowe Price has in incredible Co-Op internship they are now offering involving earning a degree while working as an intern for them with pay benefits and other options. Industry greats have gotten very creative in order to build their teams for the future, keep people employed and investing.

Regardless of which specific career position you choose, the eventuality is to become self-employed or independent within a large financial firm. Commission is always a great motivator when it adds to your salary and even greater when it’s in the high digits based on the success of your hard work. Many large companies will fund training for you to advance and that equates a larger salary or commission scale for you in the end. Choosing any one of these careers will require self- motivation and a good personal financial future for you as well.

I. U.S. Department of Labor, “Occupational Outlook Handbook”, (May 2016), http://www.bls.gov/ooh.

II. “Wells Fargo Financial Advisor Salary”, (2008-2012), http://www.glassdoor.com. “Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor Salary”, (2008-2012). Fisher Investments, “Financial Planner”, (2012) copyright, http://www.fisherinvestments.com.

III. Investopedia, “CPA, CFA, CFP Pick Your Abbreviation Carefully”, (2010), http://www.investopedia.com

V. U.S. News, “Financial Advisor Job and Salary”, (2012) copyright, U.S. News & World Report, http://money.usnews.com.

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