Updated July 28 at 8:28am

Demographics, uncertainty spur growth

By Rebecca Keister
PBN Staff Writer

When Nikki Parness, a certified financial planner with a decade of experience crossing the public and private sectors, wanted to go independent after five years at Fidelity Investments, she knew there would be more to change than her office location.

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FOCUS: BANKING & FINANCE

Demographics, uncertainty spur growth

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When Nikki Parness, a certified financial planner with a decade of experience crossing the public and private sectors, wanted to go independent after five years at Fidelity Investments, she knew there would be more to change than her office location.

Joining Larry B. Parness, her father’s 35-year-old Providence firm that serves individuals and businesses, in July 2001, she added tax preparation and business consulting to her repertoire.

“I feel like people are looking for more one-stop shops,” Parness said. “I think [there’s] a good mix [here] when the client comes in. Having [more] available in one office keeps me confident with clients.”

Parness may represent a change in the way the financial planner will appear when the industry moves toward welcoming a new wave of professionals as the baby boomer generation nears retirement and her generation, the Gen Xers, rises within their careers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there is an expected 32 percent job growth for financial advisers between 2010 and 2020, much higher than the average 14 percent across all occupations.

The R.I. Department of Labor and Training previously estimated a 6.9 percent growth for financial advisers here between 2008 and 2018.

“The average age of financial planners [here] … it’s a small percentage in their 30s and 40s and that’s become a concern,” said Dave Matarese, a certified public accountant and certified financial planner with Corrigan Financial Inc. in Middletown and president of the Financial Planning Association of Rhode Island.

The association has declined from 155 members in 2008 to 135 this year.

The BLS reports that in 2010 there were 580 personal financial advisers in Rhode Island earning an average salary of $78,370.

For that same year there were 206,800 personal financial advisers nationwide earning an average of $64,750.

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