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Edward Jones adds 1,000 advisors on march to 30K milestone

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Edward Jones added a net 1,089 advisors last year, moving the firm closer to its ambitious goal of fielding 30,000 advisors.

To be sure, Edward Jones still has some distance to cover before hitting its coveted milestone. The firm reported having 18,704 financial advisors at the end of 2019, up from 17,615 for the prior year, according to a recent SEC filing.

But the national broker-dealer has been steadily expanding headcount — and growing assets — primarily by training its own advisors rather than recruiting talent from the competition.

A “growth mindset” is critical to the firm’s success, according to Patty Carter, principal of branch team talent acquisition at Edward Jones.

“Growth means we can serve more clients. In fact, we've identified the opportunity to serve as many as 40 million additional investors and their families in North America who think and act like our clients,” Carter said in a statement. “To serve them, we've added more than 3,500 financial advisors in the past three years, which is more than the firm's first 70 years combined.”

In terms of headcount, Edward Jones eclipsed Morgan Stanley and LPL Financial — the largest wirehouse and independent broker-dealer — with approximately 15,500 and 16,300, respectively, according to their latest earnings reports.

Edward Jones’ headcount is also expanding at a time when other large brokerages forces have contracted. Wells Fargo’s advisor ranks have dropped a net 1,500 advisors since 2016.

Edward Jones’ efforts, meanwhile, boosted assets to $1.3 trillion for 2019, an increase of $246 billion or 22% from 2018.

Its net revenue of $9.4 billion was up 11% year-over-year. Net income before allocations to partners hit a record of $1.1 billion, representing a 10% increase over the prior year.

Though the St. Louis-based firm reported net new assets of $63.7 billion, this fell slightly below the $64.6 billion it notched for 2018.

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