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How Much Can Financial Advisors Make at Morgan Stanley?


Financial advisors at Morgan Stanley can make from $97,000 a year on the low end to $475,000 at the top, according to various sources for data on advisor pay. These figures are for total compensation including bonuses and commissions, which can vary widely depending on the individual advisor’s clientele, experience and other factors. Earnings from salaries alone are typically much lower but are also highly variable, generally starting at well below $50,000 for junior Morgan Stanley advisors and topping out at close to $150,000 for high-performing veterans.

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Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor Earnings Overview

Earnings information about Morgan Stanley financial advisors from online job postings and employee reviews presents a picture of moderate base pay, but with a great deal of upside potential depending on circumstances.

In terms of straight salary, Morgan Stanley financial advisors are not much different from the average American worker, at least when just starting out. However, with bonuses and commissions added, their income after gaining some experience can put them in the top strata of earners.

Earnings reports vary significantly depending on a number of factors, including the source. ZipRecruiter data, for instance, shows base pay for new Morgan Stanley financial advisors averaging $36,000. Indeed says junior advisors get salaries beginning at $20,000.

Total compensation can be much higher, while still varying, depending on the source. Glassdoor estimates median total pay, including bonuses and commissions, is $167,254. Comparably says total compensation averages $97,242 per year.

Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor Pay Details

Looking at salaries only, ZipRecruiter shows a range of $36,000 to $144,000 per year for Morgan Stanley advisors. Indeed reports salaries ranging from $20,000 for junior advisors to $142,000 for senior advisors. Glassdoor data shows base salaries ranging from $67,000 to $126,000 per year.

Ranges are similarly wide when it comes to total pay including salary plus bonuses and commissions. According to Glassdoor, total pay ranges from $125,000 to $234,000 per year for Morgan Stanley advisors. Comparably shows total pay varying from a surprisingly low $17,552 to equally surprising high of $474,946.

Comparing Morgan Stanley financial advisor earnings to typical industry pay, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary for financial advisors nationwide is $94,170. So average advisor salaries at Morgan Stanley appear moderately above the norm, while total compensation for experienced advisors is significantly higher.

Working at Morgan Stanley

A financial advisor guiding a client on her investment plan.

Morgan Stanley is a leading global financial services firm that provides investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is the wealth management division of the investment bank and a major employer of financial advisors.

With approximately 15,000 financial advisors and nearly $1.2 trillion in assets under management, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management is one of the largest U.S. wealth managers. The wealth management arm was founded in 2009 with headquarters in Purchase, New York, and offices across the country.

Morgan Stanley Wealth Management serves both high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth individuals, as well as banking or thrift institutions, investment companies, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities, insurance companies and businesses.

Services can include investment planning, retirement planning, estate planning, business services and cash management.

Employees give Morgan Stanley decent reviews on job sites, though some cite high pressure to meet performance goals. The company benefits are generally regarded with favor and, according to some reviewers, include free on-site lunches.

Limitations of Morgan Stanley Salary Data

These Morgan Stanley pay estimates come from online job ads and anonymous user reviews. While they provide a useful guideline for anyone considering applying for work as a financial advisor, they aren’t likely to be perfectly accurate in all situations. Actual advisor compensation can vary considerably based on a variety of factors.

Differences in experience, client assets, fees, commissions, bonuses, location and current market conditions all can play a role in allowing a candidate to earn more or less than the norm. Morgan Stanley recruiters may be able to verify pay for specific positions and candidates.

Bottom Line

A financial advisor working with a couple on rebalancing their investment portfolio.

While junior Morgan Stanley advisors earn around $50,000, according to some sources total compensation for experienced advisors can reach over $475,000 in major metro markets catering to high-net-worth clients. However, pay varies significantly based on tenure, assets, production and location. The company work environment, benefits and other aspects of employment are mostly positively regarded by past and present employees. With 15,000 financial advisors spread across the country, many employment opportunities exist.

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