How Much Does It Cost To Become A Financial Advisor? (In 2024)

Updated: June 21st, 2024
Become A Financial Advisor

Looking to start a financial advisor?

But curious about:

  • how much it costs to start a financial advisor?
  • what are the typical financial advisor startup costs?
  • or the actual cost of starting financial advisors?

Well, we have the data to prove it, supported by real financial advisors and how much they actually cost to start.

Let's go over it.

What is the average cost of starting a financial advisor?

Based on our data reported by actual financial advisor founders, the average cost of starting a financial advisor is between $10 and $500,000.

Additionally, our data shows that the the median startup costs for a financial advisor are around $13K.

Remember, though, not all financial advisors are the same - and neither are people's budgets. It's important to distinguish between different levels or types of financial advisors

Real World Examples: How much does it cost to start a financial advisor?

We asked real financial advisor founders and business owners how much it actually cost to get started?

Here is what they said:

Sam Dogen

Founder of Financial Samurai ($30K/month)

"In terms of startup costs I incurred launching Financial Samurai in 2009, I paid a guy I found on Craigslist $500 to launch the site. I then paid him $200 to design my site and logo."

Sam Dogen is the founder of Financial Samurai, a personal finance site that attracts about 1 million organic visitors a month.

Read by 5,375 founders

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Founder of Making Sense of Cents ($83K/month)

"Startup costs were extremely low, and that’s one reason why I love blogging as a business. You can start for super cheap - less than $100."

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner is the founder of Making Sense of Cents, a personal finance and lifestyle blog that has generated over $5,000,000 in revenue.

Read by 19,248 founders

Enjoyed reading these real world examples?

Our platform is full of case studies of successful financial advisors that you can learn from.

Starting a financial advisor - what you should know:

Starting a financial advisory firm involves understanding and managing several cost factors that can significantly impact your budget.

Initial Licensing and Registration Fees

The initial licensing and registration fees can vary depending on your state, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000. This includes regulatory registration with bodies such as the SEC, state regulators, and obtaining your Series 65 or Series 66 licenses.

Technology and Software Costs

Technology and software costs are critical and can range from $500 to $2,500 per month depending on the size and scale of your operations. Essential software includes CRM systems, financial planning software, and portfolio management tools like eMoney Advisor or Orion.

Office Space and Utilities

Office space and utilities are another significant expense. A modest office space in a mid-range city might cost between $1,000 to $3,000 per month. If you choose a high-traffic, premium location, these numbers can double. Alternatively, starting from a home office can save you a considerable amount, potentially cutting the cost down to under $500 per month.

Marketing and Client Acquisition

Marketing and client acquisition are also essential for growth and can cost between $5,000 to $30,000 in your initial year. Digital marketing campaigns, website development, and networking events are common expenses in this category. Leveraging social media and referrals can help reduce these costs.

Continuing Education and Professional Development

Lastly, continuing education and professional development can cost between $500 to $2,000 annually. These costs include maintaining your certifications, attending industry conferences, and subscribing to professional journals.

Understanding these nuances and planning accordingly can help you manage your budget effectively when starting your financial advisory firm.

Potential Costs of Starting a Financial Advisor

Starting a financial advisory firm involves numerous costs, from initial setup to ongoing operational expenses. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

Cost Item Estimated Cost ($) Description
Business Registration Fees $50 - $800 Costs vary by state for registering your business entity.
Insurance (E&O and GL) $1,200 - $3,000/year Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance and General Liability insurance premiums.
Licensing and Exams $1,500 - $2,500 Costs for obtaining necessary licenses (e.g., Series 7, Series 65 exams) and FINRA registration.
Office Space Rent $500 - $2,000/month Simple co-working space to a small office, depending on location and size.
Technology and Software $3,000 - $10,000/year Client management software, financial planning tools, and portfolio management systems.
Website Development $2,000 - $10,000 Initial development, including design, content creation, and ongoing maintenance fees.
Website Hosting $100 - $300/year Hosting fees for the firm's website.
Compliance Consulting $2,000 - $5,000 Initial setup and ongoing consulting to ensure regulatory compliance.
Marketing Budget $5,000 - $20,000/year Online advertising, print materials, event sponsorships, and other marketing efforts.
Office Supplies $500 - $1,500 Initial investment in office supplies, stationery, and equipment.
Professional Services $2,000 - $6,000/year Legal, accounting, and consulting services.
Networking and Memberships $500 - $2,000/year Membership fees for industry associations and local networking groups.
Employee Salaries $40,000 - $80,000/year/employee Annual salaries for support staff based on qualifications and roles.
Continuing Education $500 - $1,500/year Costs for professional development and continuing education courses.
Miscellaneous Costs $1,000 - $3,000 Unforeseen expenses and other miscellaneous costs.

The total cost to start a financial advisory practice can vary widely based on location, scope, and scale, but comprehensive planning and budgeting can help ensure a smooth and cost-effective launch.