There's a lot of wealth in the New York City metro area, and a lot of financial advisors to serve that wealth. Ditto for San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, Houston and other large metropolitan money centers. People breaking into the business or practicing advisors looking to grow might want to go where the money is but isn't being served. And according to research from eFinancialCareers North America, some of those prime spots are south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
They include Belle Meade, Tenn., an affluent Nashville suburb that's drawing new country music bigwigs and where the median household income of $226,000 is one of the nation's highest. Meanwhile, just 400 financial advisors serve the entire Nashville metro area. Another is the area on Florida's west coast comprising Naples and nearby Marco Island, a region loaded with millionaires but served by only 300 advisors. In comparison, eFinancialCareers says, tony Palm Beach on the state's opposite coast is served by 2,010 advisors. And then there's New Orleans and environs, an area that's rebuilding its post-Katrina wealth demographic but is served by just 340 advisors.
"Where are you going to find opportunities to develop your book?" asks Constance Melrose, managing director at eFinancialCareers, a New York City-based network of career sites for financial professionals. "You go where the money is. We're looking at places where there are few advisors relative to size of population, and where we can find pockets of wealth not being addressed."
The adventurous advisor might be attracted to another one of those underserved places--namely, Alaska. The state has more than 16,000 millionaires, thanks largely to the oil industry. Yet there are only 140 financial advisors throughout that massive state.
The takeaway, Melrose says, is that there are opportunities for advisors with an entrepreneurial bent who are willing to go to underserved wealth markets and try to plant their flag in the turf.