Charles Schwab just conducted a poll of 200 financial advisors, all at full service firms (aka wirehouses). More than half had at least 10 years under their belts and the median assets under management was $84 mil.
The prognosis was not a good one for the name-brand wirehouse firms…
Less than half of full-service financial advisors (46%) who responded to a new Schwab survey believed their employer’s brand helped them acquire or retain clients, and 76% have had to explain why their firm is still a good place to invest. Nevertheless, 56% of the advisors surveyed were not ready to set up shop on their own, preferring instead to join an already existing RIA.
The majority of advisors (59%) at full-service financial firms—including wirehouses, banks, accounting firms and independent broker-dealers—said the idea of being an independent advisor appealed to them. What they liked: greater independence (51%), the opportunity for a larger annual income (47%) and the opportunity for long-term financial success (44%). Respondents were very confident about their client relationships: 80% said their clients were more loyal to them than to their firm.
Other than training and marketing, there’s not much a wirehouse can offer its reps and advisors these days. Even when there are a lot of deals and syndicate, most of the good stuff ends up with institutional anyway. Combine that with low payouts, poor morale and uncertain corporate hierarchies and it’s not surprising to see polling data like this.