Study: Financial advisors more stressed than the average worker

Written on May 02, 2018

A new study shows that work-related stress can be especially challenging for financial advisors when compared to other workers.

Advisors in the report average stress levels that are 25% higher than the national norm, according to the survey conducted by Northern Trust’s FlexShares. The stress level measure comes from asking advisors and other workers to rate their stress levels on a scale of one through 10. On this scale the level of stress for U.S. workers overall is 36.4%, the analysis shows, but for advisors that figure comes in at 48.5%.

Male advisors reported 26.2% higher levels of stress than the 37.8% national norm for men. Female advisors reported 18% higher levels of stress than the 45.6% national average for women.

Younger advisors feel the most stress, as planners under the age of 50 have over 39% greater stress levels than the national norm, according to the survey. The study also found that only 32% of advisors with 20 or more years of experience suffer from work-related stress, as compared to 41% of advisors with less than three years of experience.

Advisors are feeling more pressure than other U.S. professionals due to a heightened regulatory environment and the need to constantly grow their businesses, says Darek Wojnar, the head of funds, including FlexShares ETFs, and managed accounts at Northern Trust Asset Management.

FlexShares surveyed 700 planners and determined that compliance and regulatory issues (29%) and the challenges of growing their practices (25%) rank among the top stress inducers for advisors. More than half of those surveyed said these are their primary sources of work-related stress.

Other advisor concerns include having to balance work and personal matters (12%), wearing multiple hats (10%), tracking the state of the markets (8%) and effectively managing client relationships (7%).

On a brighter note, the survey also found that financial advisors are “quite satisfied as a group with their profession,” Wojnar notes. Advisors have come up with various coping mechanisms including exercise, changing their mindset and altering work habits.

Leave a comment