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The Rise of the UK Retail Wealth Market

The Total UK retail wealth is growing! Despite what you hear in the news about the collapse of the physical Highstreet, combines with the rise of the online high street – the retail wealth of the UK is in fact thriving! Third parties suggest the retail liquid assets alone account for some £3.8 trillion as of the end of 2022 (source: GlobalData).

In this article, written by the team at St. James’s Place, we delve into the thriving and growing world of the United Kingdom’s total Retail wealth market and note the opportunities this has bought forward for financial advisers now and in future!

The Rising Retail wealth in the UK

People in the mass affluent market with around £50,000 to £5 million of assets which are investable are estimated to control around 67% of UK investable wealth (source: GlobalData).

This proportion increases when we account for the individuals either side of those thresholds who are also in our target marketplace. We know that the market of opportunity increased tenfold when we consider personal pension assets and insurance-wrapped savings.

Household wealth is highest for those with a head of household aged between 55 and state pension age, with the median average wealth of those households approximately 25 times the average wealth of those with a head of household aged between 16 and 24 (source: Office for National Statistics).

The UK wealth market
The UK retail wealth market

This realisation shows us the extent of asset decumulation we can expect in the years and decades ahead, and the scale of intergenerational wealth transfer that’s to come.

The rising demand for financial advice

On estimate, we can see there are approximately 13.1 million individuals in the mass affluent market in the UK, including 3.7 million who are currently non-advised but, open to receiving financial advice (source: Royal London – Exploring the Advice Gap report).

Broadly looking than that of the mass affluent market, according to Prudential UK’s Family Wealth Unlocked report – 53% of UK adults say the COVID-19 financial crisis has pushed them to seek or plan to seek advice from a financial adviser.

The rising numbers of quality advisers

Financial advice creates quality value, helping individuals to feel confident in their financial futures. This is referenced in research from the likes of Vanguard, Morningstar and the International Longevity Centre. In recognition of this market opportunity, we’ve seen many developments in the DIY investment platform market, as well as in robo-advice offerings. But, demand for personal, face-to-face advice has continued to grow as people lacking the time, inclination or confidence to manage their financial affairs, seek help from a trusted adviser. Advisers are often older in years which creates a quality offering – but there’s a growing demand in the market for younger advisers as we expect demand for face-to-face advice to only get stronger!

There are a number of systemic factors driving the need for advice:

  • Complexity of personal taxation;
  • Decline of defined benefit pension schemes;
  • Options and challenges open to savers through ‘pensions freedom’;
  • Scale of the UK savings gap; and
  • Intergenerational wealth transfer.


Demand for advice is therefore on the rise, but there aren’t enough advisers in the UK to meet it. The shortfall is likely to worsen as more and more experienced advisers approach retirement or sell their businesses: the average age of a financial adviser in the UK is 58 (source: Professional Adviser) – So, there’s already an ‘advice gap’ today and we think this will widen.

The UK retail wealth market

How SJP can benefit from the market opportunity

We are the leading advice-led wealth management business in the UK, with 4,693 advisers (at the end of 2022). We have a proven track record of both attracting and retaining great financial advisers, as well as those looking to build a new career with us through our Academy programme, which means our adviser population is growing.

Our advisers have an average age of 46 and can establish and build long-term relationships with clients. Those training in our Academy have an average age of 35. As a result, we are ideally placed to take advantage of the increasing demand for financial advice.

Rising Competition in the advice market

There are a wide range of offerings in UK wealth management and the financial advice profession. This ranges from technology-led solutions to the holistic face-to-face financial advice service that we provide. In recent years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of businesses looking to establish themselves in UK financial advice, with this interest reflecting the scale of opportunity in what remains a growing and under-served market.

We are advocates of the need for both individuals and families to become more financially resilient and more confident of their futures, but know that holistic financial planning advice, delivered by highly qualified professional advisers, will not be accessible to all.

We’re therefore very supportive of efforts and initiatives, whether led by companies, regulators or legislators, to help more people make better decisions around their basic finances.

The UK wealth market
The UK retail wealth market

Our UK market

The mass affluent market in the UK is often defined as individuals with between £50,000 and £5 million in investable assets. There were estimated to be 13.1 million such individuals in the UK (at the end of 2022), and this number is expected to grow to 14.3 million by the end of 2026 (source: GlobalData).

The liquid assets of this group are forecast to increase from £2.6 trillion to £3.0 trillion in this time (source: GlobalData).

We target this mass affluent market but also look after clients either side of this space, be it individuals in the early stages of accumulating wealth or at the other end of the spectrum, high-net-worth individuals who need specialist support from our Private Clients team.

With all this said and investigated – We can see that there is a growing demand for Financial Advisers in the UK and now is a great opportunity to be looking into options in becoming financial adviser. Please check out our profile on Careers Zone (link) to find out more about what we can offer as a company   

This article was written by our Featured Company St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy.

If you’d like to connect with  St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy, edit your profile here and click connect with featured companies in your Career Preferences tab.


To find out more about the opportunities with St. James’s Place Financial Adviser Academy, check out their Featured Company Profile page below.

You can also connect with SJP by editing your profile and updating your connect with featured companies preferences.

For more information on the different paths to becoming an adviser, including qualifications, exams and salary information, check out the Newly-Qualified Financial Adviser Role Profile. 

You can also read about A Day in the Life of a Newly-Qualified Financial Adviser below.

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