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Why We Exist

Impact of Financial Advisors on the Economy

The social and economic value that Retail Financial Advisors Bring to the United States Economy is enormous.  

The United States’ financial services sector will suffer from stunted growth due to the lack of talent, with $435.69 billion in projected unrealized economic output, equal to 1.5% of the United States Economy by 2030. [8]  Acute talent shortages for Retail Financial Advisors are clearly a looming threat driven by a shortage of skills rather than a shortage of people. The profession of Financial Advisor is a knowledge-based industry and is fueled with highly skilled workers with a post-secondary education, such as a college or university, or a high-level trade college qualification. Mitigating the talent crunch requires a fundamental redefinition of the social contract between individuals, organizations, and governments and the Financial Advisor Training Institute will be the first of its kind to bridge the gap.


“Global financial services players are already experiencing skilled-talent shortages and are set to face the greatest talent gap of any industry sector in the next decade. Financial Services leaders need to act now, or they will forfeit substantial growth opportunity.

—Michael Franzino, President, Global Financial Services, Korn Ferry


The economic contribution that Financial Advisors contribute to the United States economy is substantial. The direct (operational), indirect (supply chain), and induced (wage spending) contribution of the retail Financial Advisor Industry can be quantified in terms of a contribution to GDP, jobs, and the amount of tax revenue that their activities generate for the public purse. [9]

The economic contribution of Financial Advisors has amounted to:

  • More than $81 billion in GDP (.45 percent of the total U.S. economy. U.S. GDP was $17.9 trillion in 2015.
  • $10.5 billion in taxes to local, state, and federal governments.
  • Financial Advisors average $110,979 in annual income, placing them in the top 10% of income earners in most states. [10] 
  • These high value-added, productive workers drive further wealth-generating services for savers and investors within the United States. 
  • In total, Financial Advisors support more than 803,000 jobs. 
  • These firms directly support the employment of more than 260,000 Financial Advisors and support staff.  
  • In addition, for each Financial Advisor affiliated with a financial firm, a further two jobs are supported in the wider, non-financial economy, either in the supply chains of financial firms or through the wage spending of those employed in the firms themselves or in their supply chains (in total 537,000 additional jobs in industries as diverse as professional services, restaurants, and hospitality). 
  • On average, these indirect and induced jobs pay an annual income of $56,491.

Financial Advisors make a widespread contribution throughout the U.S. economy. Of the $81 billion total contribution to GDP, $32 billion results from supply chain and consumer spending activities. This spreads the benefits of the sector to other parts of the U.S. economy, including, for example:

  • $8 billion in professional and business services
  • $7 billion in trade, transportation, and utilities
  • $4.7 billion in education and health services.

In total, as of 2017, finance and insurance represented 7.5% (or $1.45 trillion) of U.S. GDP. [11]

On top of being financial contributors, Financial Advisors are active members of their communities. They annually support hundreds of national, regional, and local charitable organizations throughout the United States. Support takes the form of millions of dollars in donations, volunteering time, and teaching financial literacy.

The State of the Industry

  • Advisor Shortfall by 2020

    220,000

  • Financial Advisors Age 35 or younger

    22%

  • Managed by Financial Advisors at risk (Trillions)

    $145

  • GDP at risk (Billions)

    $81

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