Stagnant wages have affected financial advisers as much as any Australians, with new research finding that half of advisers have experienced no increase in their annual pre-tax salary, or have experienced a fall in salary, in the past 12 months.

CoreData’s latest Adviser Pulse Check survey has found that overall, 42 per cent of advisers have experienced no change in salary and 9 per cent have experienced a fall; while three in 10 (31 per cent) have experienced an increase of less than 10 per cent.

Fewer than one in five advisers (18 per cent) have seen their salaries increase by more than 10 per cent since this time last year, and the research suggests these advisers are slightly more likely to be in small (up to 100 clients) and mid-sized (100 to 200 clients) rather than in large practices (more than 200 clients).

The APC survey reveals that advisers in small practices are most likely to have experienced static incomes, with about half (49 per cent) reporting no increase in pre-tax annual salaries in the previous 12 months. One in five (21 per cent) advisers in small practices have experienced an increase of 10 per cent or less, meaning two-thirds (68 per cent) of these advisers have had no increase or only a relatively modest increase in salary.

*CoreData’s Simon Hoyle and Andrew Inwood will be presenting at Professional Planner‘s Licensee Summit in Katoomba June 6-7.

Around one in eight (13 per cent) have actually experienced a fall in income, although the survey does not capture the extent of the fall. Advisers in small practices are more likely (13 per cent) to have experienced a decline in their salary than advisers in mid-sized practices (2 per cent) and large practices (10 per cent).

Advisers in mid-sized and large practices are around twice as likely as their colleagues in small practices to have experienced a salary increase of up to 10 per cent (41 per cent and 40 per cent respectively). But a smaller proportion than in small practices  – 37 per cent in both cases – have experienced static incomes. Overall, 78 per cent and 77 per cent of advisers in medium and large practices, respectively, have experience static incomes or increases of less than 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Pulse Check survey also reveals that around one in eight (12 per cent) advisers are earning less than $80,000 a year (pre-tax) but almost one in five (19 per cent) earn more than $160,000 a year.

At least among advisers who participated in the Q1 survey, none in large firms reported earning less than $80,000 a year, whereas this was the case for 6 per cent of advisers in mid-sized practices, and for 21 per cent in small practices.

One in three (33 per cent) advisers in large practices earn more than $160,000 a year, compared to one in five (19 per cent) advisers in mid-sized firms, and one in eight (13 per cent) in small firms.

About six in 10 (61 per cent) advisers in small firms earn $120,000 or less a year, compared to one in three (33 per cent) advisers in mid-sized and large practices alike.