It’s an old saying that “money can’t buy happiness”, but recent research has shown that, in reality, the relationship between money and happiness is more nuanced. Greater income levels are associated with greater levels of emotional well-being (at least up to a certain point); money is associated with higher levels of happiness, at least when it’s spent in certain ways (e.g., on experiences shared with other people or outright on others, rather than spent on ‘stuff’); we are increasingly recognizing the real-world trade-offs between earning more money versus having more time with our friends and family; and in the context of advisory firms, the trade-offs between income and work are of even greater focus as many advisors can outright control how many clients they wish to take on and what ‘Enough’ really means in the context of an advisory business.
Yet, in practice, remarkably little research exists to understand what maximizes the well-being of financial advisors. Instead, industry research overwhelmingly focuses only on what produces ‘More’ – more revenue, bigger businesses, more profitable businesses, with greater and greater productivity – as though the only path to success is through growth, and completely ignoring the growing base of financial advisors who are deliberately building ‘lifestyle’ practices and stopping their growth once they reach the point of having ‘Enough’.
To better understand these trends, we’re excited to announce the launch of our latest Kitces Research Study on Advisor Well-Being, which explores what factors really are – or are not – associated with greater well-being as a financial advisor. Are independent advisors really happier than employee advisors? Are smaller advisory firms really more stressed than larger firms? Does the platform an advisor is associated with impact their own individual well-being? Does advisor well-being actually rise as an advisory firm grows, or is there a point of diminishing (or even negative) well-being returns on growth?
So if you have a few minutes, please take our latest Kitces Advisor Research study on Advisor Well-Being. It is the shortest yet of our Research studies (for those of you who have been kind enough to go through some of our prior longer surveys!), and we’ll be sharing the results at the end of the year, in the hopes of helping the entire advisor community plan out what should be on their New Year’s business resolution lists to make 2021 their best year yet.
Thanks again for your willingness to contribute to this important advisor research!