A job satisfaction study by J.D. Power found that financial advisors' happiness with their work is most dependent on their firm's performance. The market research company's 2012 U.S. Financial Advisor Satisfaction Study ranked job satisfaction among both employee advisors and reps with independent B-Ds, as well as ranking firms and broker-dealers for the best job satisfaction rate among their advisors.

Edward Jones ranked highest for job satisfaction for the second year in a row among advisors who are employed by a firm, earning a score of 901 from a possible 1,000. Raymond James & Associates Inc. came in second with a score of 864 and Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. ranked third with a score of 823. Each was above the industry average of 698 for job satisfaction.

Of the eight companies ranked, Wells Fargo Advisors came in last at 633.

For independent advisors associated with a broker-dealer but operating independently, Commonwealth Financial Network came in first with a job satisfaction rating of 917 compared with an industry average of 774.

Raymond James Financial Services was second with a score of 887 and Northwestern Mutual Investment Services was third with 831. Of the nine firms included, NFP Securities Inc. came in last with a score of 740.

For employee advisors, the study ranked job satisfaction by firm performance; compensation; the amount of contact they had with people at their firm; the kinds of people they worked with; job duties; work environment; products and offerings to clients; technology; and the services and support offered them. The same factors were considered for independent advisors, except work environment was eliminated.

Among both groups of advisors, firm performance was rated as the most important factor for satisfaction.