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SmartAsset 2021: States With Most Financial Advisors per Capita

There are 218,100 personal financial advisors in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means that there are 9.70 financial advisors for every 10,000 adults ages 25 and older. Of course, financial advisors are more concentrated in some areas than others. To find where Americans may have the largest selection of experts to guide them in their money matters, SmartAsset conducted a study to examine the states with the most and fewest financial advisors per capita.

Across 49 states with available data and the District of Columbia, we compared the number of personal financial advisors to the adult population using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau. For more information on our survey data, read our Data and Methodology section below.

Key Findings

  • California has the highest number of financial advisors, but ranks 14th for financial advisors per capita. Almost 13% of all U.S. personal financial advisors (28,290) are employed in the state of California. However, the number of financial advisors per 10,000 adults in California is in line with the national average at 10.5.
  • There is more than a $30,000 difference in average earnings for financial advisors between the top and bottom 10 states in our study. On average, financial advisors earn roughly $132,000 across the top 10 states with the most financial advisors per capita. By contrast, financial advisors earn about $101,400 across the 10 states with the fewest financial advisors per capita. Average financial advisor earnings are highest in New York ($169,310) and lowest in Mississippi ($81,360).
  • Utah edges out New York. Despite New York City’s identity as the financial capital of the world, the Empire State overall actually has 11% fewer financial advisors per capita for adults ages 25 and older than the Beehive State. New York additionally has about 14% fewer advisors per capita for adults than Connecticut.

Connecticut, Utah and New York have the most financial advisors for every 10,000 adults ages 25 and older. Using Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau data, we found that there are more than 19 personal financial advisors for every 10,000 adults ages 25 years and older in Connecticut. Utah and New York follow closely behind with 18.73 and 16.66 financial advisors per 10,000 adults, respectively.

The remaining top 10 places with the most financial advisors per capita are the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina and Minnesota. Across those six states and the District of Columbia, financial advisors earn the most on average in Massachusetts. According to 2020 BLS data, average earnings for financial advisors in the Bay State, at $151,390, are 23.59% higher than the national average of $122,490.

The five states with the fewest financial advisors per 10,000 individuals are Alaska, New Mexico, West Virginia, Louisiana and Mississippi. In all five states, there are fewer than four personal financial advisors for every 10,000 adults ages 25 years and older. Though there are fewer financial advisors to choose from in these states, we compiled lists of the top financial advisors in each place:

If you’d like more guidance on getting matched up with a specific financial advisor, SmartAsset’s free tool could match you with up to three in your area.

Data and Methodology

To find the states with the most financial advisors per capita, SmartAsset examined data on 49 states and the District of Columbia. Full data for Delaware was unavailable. We considered two metrics:

  • Number of personal financial advisors. Data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2020 Occupational Employment Statistics release.
  • Number of adults ages 25 and older. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Community Survey.

Using those figures, we calculated the number of financial advisors per 10,000 adults and ranked states accordingly.

Looking for a Financial Advisor?

  • Our tool makes it easy to find a financial advisor. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors in your area. You can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor, get started now.
  • Do your research on financial advisor fees. Financial advisor fee structures are varied. Most are either fee-only or fee-based. Fee-only advisors charge based on the services they offer, while fee-based advisors make money by charging a combination of fees and earning commissions on investment products. For more information on the two, check out our complete guide here.

Questions about our study? Contact us at press@smartasset.com

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/fizkes

Stephanie Horan, CEPF® Stephanie Horan is a data journalist at SmartAsset. A Certified Educator of Personal Finance (CEPF®), she sources and analyzes data to write studies relating to a variety of topics including mortgage, retirement and budgeting. Before coming to SmartAsset, she worked as an analyst at an asset management firm. Stephanie graduated from Williams College with a degree in Mathematics. Originally from Philadelphia, she has always been a Yankees fan and currently lives in New York.
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