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Why We Exist

Why We Exist

The Retail Financial Advisor Workforce is Depleting

The retail Financial Advisor profession and industry in the United States are depleting in numbers and need to be replenished. 

The headcount is shrinking at an alarming rate due to the aging of retail Financial Advisors, the elimination of company training programs, increasingly difficult industry regulations, a difficult business environment resulting from the financial crisis, and the complex barriers to entry in the industry. 

While the pool of qualified retail Financial Advisors is shrinking, the demand for professional advice is increasing as Baby Boomers approach retirement and seek help getting there. Lastly, the more recent increase in demand for retail Financial Advisors is also due, in part, to retail investors returning to the markets after being burned by the tech bubble and the 2008 Financial Crisis. [1]

The Problem At Hand

Advisor Headcount is falling at an alarming rate in the United States.

As an industry, the financial advisory business is relatively young, but the retail Financial Advisors in the industry are not. According to Discovery Data, the number of retail Financial Advisors in the United States peaked exactly 30 years ago when the number of licensed, producing retail Financial Advisors reached 660,000. 

The overall Financial Advisor industry continues to see the total headcount of Financial Advisors decline by 1%-2% per year. [2] 

Today, there are currently 225,000 licensed, producing, retail Financial Advisors in the United States. Currently, only about 22% of retail Financial Advisors are age 35 and under. The total population of retail Financial Advisors is declining and will continue to until the industry gets back to investing in attracting, developing, and retaining new Advisors. [3]

Moss Adams estimates a shortfall of 200,000 retail Financial Advisors in the United States by 2022 [4], and it’s not an unreasonable forecast. The average age of retail Financial Advisors in the United States is 61 years old and 43% are over the age of 55 while one-third of the existing retail Financial Advisors plan to retire in the next 10 years.

Situational Assessment of the Financial Advisor Crisis

Bottom Line

If the retail Financial Advisor becomes extinct, the effects will have an enormous economic effect:

The U.S. economy will lose $81 billion annually in GDP and clients will not benefit from an increased rate of return of 3% per year on their $145 trillion of advised assets (a loss of $4.35 billion worth of value per year). 

This would put severe pressure on Social Security, the U.S. economic system, and the U.S. government.  

However, the Financial Advisor Training Institute will solve the existing talent gap by raising tax-deductible funds from individuals, investment product manufacturers, investment companies, grants, and other tax-exempt nonprofits to raise tuition money to provide grant scholarships to candidates who wish to become a retail Financial Advisor and gain world-class training provided by our Institute.

The State of the Industry

  • Advisor Shortfall by 2020


  • Financial Advisors Age 35 or younger


  • Managed by Financial Advisors at risk (Trillions)


  • GDP at risk (Billions)


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