Financial advisors are among the highest paid professionals. There’s a proliferation of research supporting continuing growth of advisor jobs nationwide. Baby boomers are flooding the retirement roles and the largest transfer of wealth is said to be upon us during the next few decades. These demographic shifts lead to a bonanza for financial advisors.
So where are the best cities for financial advisors to practice?
A top city for a financial advisor would have high income and wealth levels, low unemployment and a below average number of advisors per household. This article examines designated “wealth zones” or high household income zip codes, with proportionately fewer financial advisors. This confluence of high income and relatively low amount of advisors yields the 10 best cities for financial advisors to practice. Some of the actual data points are from 2012, but the employment opportunities and rates of unemployment are current as of 2015. (For more, see: Top Places to Work for Financial Advisors.)
1.San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco bay area boasts an average adjusted gross income of $136,804. Aided by the areas technology boom, robust job market and low unemployment rates this is one of the hottest areas in the country. Millionaires are minted regularly as small startups grow and become public companies.
There are 153,831 households in the wealth zone zip code area. The advisor-to-household ratio is the lowest in this list, at 1 per 363 households.
The Houston area claims 63,507 households with a whopping average adjusted gross income of $140,310. This area includes Houston, Sugar Land and tony Spring. This wealthy city, like many impacted by a major industry, has experienced its ups and downs. The recent 1 per 308 household’s advisor-to-household ratio leaves plenty of room for new advisors to stake a claim. (For more, see: Find Your Niche in the Financial Industry.)
This popular Western city has experienced excellent growth rates over the past several decades. In spite of the rainy weather, the home of Microsoft boasts a beautiful topography with a low 4.60% unemployment rate. The average income is $123,235 for the 116,529 wealthiest households. This rainy paradise claims 1 financial advisor per 291 households.
4. Potomac, Md.
Washington, D.C., suburb, Potomac Maryland also encompasses Bethesda to Chevy Chase. The $144,161 average household income is among the highest in the nation. The proximity to the nation’s capital ensures the region offers abundant government jobs as well as large private sector employment opportunities. There is 1 financial advisor for every 260 household in this region.
5. Los Angeles
If you can get past the traffic gridlock, there is abundant wealth and employment opportunities for financial advisors in California’s largest city. This wealthy zone includes Beverly Hills, Manhattan Beach, Pacific Palisades and proximate towns. The average household adjusted gross income weighs in at $170,577, but don’t forget that there is a lofty cost of living as well in Southern California. (For more, see: Strategies for Winning Advisory Business.)
Another sunny paradise, this southern Florida region is a draw for the wealthy. The wealthiest parts of Miami include sections of Miami proper as well as nearby Boca Raton. With 23,860 households in the richest sections of this region, the average adjusted gross income is $162,181. This beautiful area has only 1 advisor for 233 households and there’s abundant opportunity for the industrious financial advisor to build a practice.
7. Bryn Mawr, Pa.
This Philadelphia suburb is home to another prosperous wealth zone plus one of the top colleges in the country, Bryn Mawr College. John Bogle, founder of Vanguard Funds also resides in Bryn Mawr. This wealthy pocket has 10,347 households with an average adjusted gross household income of $148,022. There is a paltry ratio of 1 financial advisor per 202 households. The close proximity to Philadelphia makes this wealthy area an ideal location for a financial advisor to work and relax. (For more, see: Financial Advisor vs. Financial Planner and Top Publications for Financial Advisors.)
Another top national city, Chicago is home to great wealth. The average household income is $166,658 with 184,438 high income groups in the wealthiest zip codes. While the unemployment rate of 7.3% is higher than the national average of 5.5%, this large metropolitan region has only 1 advisor for 176 households. (For related reading, see: Company Size Matters: Job Search for Financial Advisors.)
Another Texas region is home to wealthy families with room for more financial advisors to practice. Including Coppell, Plano and Dallas proper, this wealth zone reports an average household income of $139,570 for the 83,065 wealthy families in this zone. With only 1 advisor for every 157 households, there’s room for more. The low 4.4% unemployment rate adds to the benefits of this locale. From the Dallas Cowboys franchise, young population and cultural events to the mild weather, Dallas is a promising location for financial advisors to practice.
10. Carmel, Ind.
This bedroom community adjacent to Indianapolis has several large businesses and was recognized in a CNN Money best places to live survey. The proximity to the world famous children’s museum, other cultural activities and sports makes this mid-western location our final pick in the top cities for financial advisors. The average adjusted gross income per household is $102,509. Although lower than the other communities, the cost of living is also quite reasonable in this region. There are 15,181 households in the wealth zone with and advisor to household ratio of 1 to 125.
The Bottom Line
If you're an advisor looking for a promising location to practice, then the combination of high wealth and low market penetration make an ideal combination. With many cities offering desirable amenities and low unemployment, the ten best cities for financial advisors offers a solid job search starting point. (For more, see: Financial Careers With Excellent Salaries and What Should Aspiring Financial Advisors Major In?)