Base Salary vs. Unlimited Income Potential: What It Means For Your Career

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According to the 2020 Kitces Research Study On Advisor Wellbeing, income potential was a moderate to strong motivator to pursue a career in financial advising.

So, if income potential is so strongly desired – do you choose a firm with a guaranteed base salary or unlimited income potential?

The income you elect for has far-reaching implications not only for one’s immediate financial well-being but also for long-term career growth, work-life balance, and personal fulfillment.

Here at Consolidated Planning, our planning philosophy and resources were designed to help you achieve success and fulfillment how you define it. We work to remove barriers and pave a clear path to success. You just have to follow it.

Starting your career off on the right foot as a financial advisor matters. Here, we’ll help you understand what you can expect with a base salary and unlimited income potential, as well as the benefit of electing for unlimited income at the start of your career, all to help you decide if the potential for unlimited income is right for you.


What Is A Base Salary?

A base salary is just that. A base, a fixed amount that you can expect to earn each pay period. Oftentimes a base salary can feel like the safe option, especially as a new financial advisor.

And for those soon-to-be advisors who haven’t explored all their options, you might think a base salary just makes sense. Especially if that’s what you’re accustomed to.

With a base salary you’re opting for what is certain and what is known. Can’t say we blame anyone here.

Initially, these might seem like practical reasons to choose a firm offering this to you. However, overtime, what is certain and known is no longer.

That’s because a base salary isn’t tied to your performance, client base, or simply the long hours you’ve put in – taking away the level of control you have in your practice.


What Is Unlimited Income Potential?

Unlimited income potential means you will not necessarily have a fixed amount of compensation you receive each month. But it also means, what you can earn in any given month directly reflects the work you put in. Or don’t.

With unlimited income potential, you are forgoing what is certain and known in the beginning of your career for something



down the line.

Perhaps being comfortable with the unknown of your income is only for those with the right mindset. Bigger, better, faster. Most advisors want more once they know it’s possible. And IT IS possible.

Choosing a firm with unlimited income potential allows you control in growing your financial advising practice. And with a level of autonomy over your practice, you have “good pressure” to be successful. A robust, successful practice makes you indispensable to the firm you work alongside. 

Here are a few of the factors that will make up your earnings potential:

  • Client base
  • Fee structure
  • Growth of Assets Under Management (AUM)
  • Market conditions
  • Specialization


Why You Should Elect For Unlimited Income Potential Early On In Your Career

Hear us out – if you’re just starting out your career as a financial advisor…now is the time to choose that firm with the unlimited income potential.


Because early on in your life is the time to take risks…not well into your 40s and 50s. This is because, frankly, life usually gets harder as you get older.

More responsibilities.

More people counting on you.

And with more people counting on you (and potentially your sole income), a base salary can feel limiting as you take on more responsibility.

Not only might the base salary economically limit your opportunities but you may find yourself working twice as hard to ensure you don’t get let go.


Is Unlimited Income Potential Right For You?

Forgoing what is certain and known for the uncertainty and unknown is not for everyone. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a successful financial advisor.

Whether you choose a firm with a base salary or unlimited income potential, you better believe you will work hard, especially as you’re building your practice.

If you know you want to build a practice that is bigger, better…and do it faster, the potential for unlimited income at Consolidated Planning might be the right fit for you.


Ready to talk with us?


2023-163454 Exp. 10/2025

Published:  October 27, 2023