According to National Underwriter’s “Russell: Many Advisors Want to Pare Client Lists,” financial advisors have an average of 255 clients. They seem to universally believe that is too many and would like to carry a few less clients. The average advisor thinks that 228 would be an ideal number. The recent Russell Investments study found that half of the advisors questioned would like to decrease their client list from an average of 392 down to 211. The 43% of advisors who said they would like to increase their client lists hoped to go from an average of 140 up to 238. It appears to be even more difficult to keep up with very high client counts now than it was just a few years ago, partly because of the changes in annuity rates and other interest rates associated with a tumultuous economy.
Most advisors told the surveyors that they are having a difficult time balancing more demands from their clients with a declining revenue and difficult markets. A long-term solution for this is switching to a fee-based service model, while a short-term change for other advisors includes offering more guaranteed income products like annuities. Of those surveyed, 39% said that they have been selling more annuities to their clients. 45% of advisors are transitioning to fee-based accounting for their clients. For those looking to expand their client list, 26% are looking for new ways to find more clients. While most of the advisors already use annuities for their clients, those who don’t seem to have little interest in transitioning to this guaranteed income product. Maybe they will change their minds as clients show more interest in lifetime guaranteed income sources.