What Is a Financial Advisor?

A financial advisor is a professional who is engaged in the business of informing and educating clients about wealth, investment and other sorts of money matters—and sometimes managing these financial affairs as well. It’s an umbrella term that includes stockbrokers, financial planners, investment advisors, tax preparers, bankers, insurance agents, and estate planners.

According to the salary information website PayScale, in Jan. 2021 the average salary for a financial advisor in the United States is $59,708, with most salaries ranging from $38,000 to $109,000. In addition to salaries, financial advisors also receive compensation in the form of bonuses, profit sharing, and commissions.1

The average annual bonus received by a financial advisor ranges from $2,000 to $31,000. The average annual profit-sharing compensation ranges from $995 to $18,000. The average annual commission compensation ranges from $4,000 to $182,000. The average total pay for financial advisors ranges from $39,000 to $139,000.1

Experience Pays

Salaries for financial advisors also vary with experience. On average, a late-career financial advisor earns 32% above average, an experienced financial advisor earns 38% above average, a mid-career financial advisor earns 15% above average and an entry-level financial advisor earns 18% below average.1

Financial advisors with investment management skills earn 6% above average. Those with investment planning skills earn 3% above average, and advisors with portfolio management skills earn 2% above average. Those who know financial modeling earn 4% above average.1

Some financial advisors also receive compensation in the form of health benefits. Fully 75% of financial advisors receive medical benefits, while 60% receive dental benefits, and 52% receive vision benefits, with only 24% receiving no health benefits.

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