One Tough Year

One Tough Year

The last 12 months or so have provided plenty of angst in the financial services industry. In the calendar year 2008, the value of U.S. household assets plummeted by $11.2 trillion, or about 18 percent, the worst annual drop since the Fed began keeping track of household wealth after World War II. Alas, most financial advisors didn't see 2008 coming; their clients got crushed, on average. Then were

The last 12 months or so have provided plenty of angst in the financial services industry. In the calendar year 2008, the value of U.S. household assets plummeted by $11.2 trillion, or about 18 percent, the worst annual drop since the Fed began keeping track of household wealth after World War II. Alas, most financial advisors didn't see 2008 coming; their clients got crushed, on average. Then were other embarrassments: You had the Madoff Effect, casting a dark pall across Wall Street and financial advisories around the country. The auction rate securities scandal doesn't seem to go away. And now, regulators are pushing for a major overhaul in the industry, thus creating even more uncertainty for advisors and brokerages.

But most advisors will tell you that regardless of all the uncertainty (which has been less bothersome of late what, with the stock market's rather impressive rally since March), they're still just running their business day-to-day and trying to make their clients some money. And, of course, gathering more assets. As one of our Top 100 advisors, a legacy Morgan Stanley rep, puts it, “Look, my firm just doubled in size in terms of advisors it's now serving. I can either complain about the fact that I'm now competing with that many more brokers for attention and service, or I can focus on my clients and get the job done.”

Those are the words of a top producer alright. This year's Top 100 Wirehouse Advisors list is likely filled with FAs with a similar mentality. This year, half of our Top 100 reps have total assets under $1 billion. Last year, the entire list of advisors managed assets of at least $1 billion. But even after a brutal year, these advisors keep pushing forward and continue to build their businesses.

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