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Best-Paying Wirehouses, Regional Broker-Dealers

When it comes to compensation, everyone wants to know where they and their firm stacks up compared to the competition.

Keep in mind, these rankings are based on unavoidably inexact data. Think of them as a rough approximation of starting payouts that don?t apply to all advisors at any particular firm. Individual compensation can vary dramatically, based on the mix of business and policies at each firm. For example, pay can increase from special bonuses and decrease from penalties such as discount sharing, small client limits and changes.

The following assumptions were made to determine advisors? basic pay (prior to special policies/contingent bonuses):

-- 25% in individual stock; 25% in individual bonds; 25% in mutual funds; 25% in fee-based (wrap accounts, managed accounts, etc.).

-- Year-end bonuses are shown in deferred totals.

-- Length of service is assumed to be 10 years.

-- Assumes no growth bonuses, no asset-based bonuses, nor other behavior-based awards.

-- Excludes 401(k) matches or profit-sharing contributions unless otherwise noted.

-- Does not include: T&E expense allowance, discount sharing or ticket charge expense assumptions, small household or small ticket policy assumptions, or value of any options awards.

With those caveats, here?s a closer look at the basic pay rankings for $1 million producers at wirehouses and regional broker-dealers.