The ClientWise Blog

Financial Advisors: Look Beyond the Usual Suspects

Posted by Chris Holman on Aug 16, 2012 11:15:00 AM

When you ask many Americans to describe what the affluent do for a living, most of us trot out the “usual suspects”, including corporate executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys, doctors, dentists and professional athletes. For financial advisors, this is also true. Just about every financial advisor has at least one client who hails from one of these careers.

Advisors can also attest to the fact that higher incomes are not always synonymous with actual wealth and/or savings. We’re all aware of big-time wage earners who are as poor as church mice due to their highly levered lifestyles and the acquisition of the various trappings of wealth, such as cars, boats and second homes.

This is all a prelude to the take-aways from an interesting article in Forbes, “America’s Most Surprising Six-Figure Jobs.”

Forbes combed through federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data to identify 20 professions where the top 10 percent of wage earners take down at least $100,000 annually. These careers, as they say, are most surprising:


  • Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance
  • Technical Writers
  • Gaming Managers
  • Home Economics Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels
  • Art Directors
  • Transportation Inspectors
  • Broadcast News Analysts
  • Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers
  • Insurance Sales Agents
  • Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School
  • Writers and Authors
  • Film and Video Editors
  • Human Resources Managers
  • Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
  • Multimedia Artists and Animators
  • Elevator Installers and Repairers
  • Loan Officers
  • Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Database Administrators

What’s also interesting to note is the detailed information available about each of these professions that the BLS website offers.  For example, the top 10% of  “Captains, Mates and Pilots of Water Vessels”, who command or supervise operations of ships and water vessels, such as tugboats and ferryboats, earn $119,280 annually. The states where captains, mates and pilots tend to work and live are Washington, California, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Virginia, and New York

Like other professions, these sectors also have professional associations that serve the industry, including the Lodging and Gaming Management Association, the American Pilots Association, the American Arbitration Association, the Data Management Association and the National Human Resources Association. To the extent that you’re interested in establishing working relationships with these kinds of professionals, networking within the association is a good place to start

Financial advisors who want to focus on a niche audience should first identify 1-2 contacts, clients, or centers-of-influence within the group, and spread out from there. That’s where word-of-mouth and other types of networking comes in.

Ultimately, the most successful financial advisors are usually advisors who have clients that they like personally, enjoy working with, and (most importantly) who appreciate and value what that advisor does. These clients might be Captains of Industry, or Captains of Tugboats. The beauty part is that, as the CEO of your enterprise, you get to choose.


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Topics: Client Acquisition, Business Development