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The World Map of Debt

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The World Map of Debt

The World Map of Debt

Every country is scaled based on its debt-to-gdp

What if we were to redraw the world map based on the sustainability of national debt levels?

Countries that are smaller in size, but that have big debt loads, would stand out more. If we used debt-to-GDP as scaling criteria, Japan would become the largest country on our new map. Japan holds 19.99% of all global debt despite only having about 6% of the world’s economic production. The country’s debt-to-GDP ratio is 230%.

Greece and Italy, two medium-sized European countries, would be bigger than North America as a whole. That said, the United States does hold an extreme amount of debt itself, equal to an astounding 29.05% of global debt. It is just masked more because of the country’s significant GDP. We have also looked at the United States another way in the past, and by the measure of debt-to-revenue, the US has the 2nd largest debt burden in the world.

On the opposite side of the question, there are large countries that have less debt – they disappear from the map almost completely. Australia, a giant land mass, is reduced to a tiny island with its load of 29% debt-to-GDP. Nigeria shrinks to a tiny speck on the map with an 11% ratio.

Original graphic by: HowMuch.net

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Investor Education

The Top 5 Reasons Clients Fire a Financial Advisor

Firing an advisor is often driven by more than cost and performance factors. Here are the top reasons clients ‘break up’ with their advisors.

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The following content is sponsored by Morningstar
This circle graphic shows the top reasons for firing a financial advisor.

The Top 5 Reasons Clients Fire a Financial Advisor

What drives investors to fire a financial advisor?

From saving for a down payment to planning for retirement, clients turn to advisors to guide them through life’s complex financial decisions. However, many of the key reasons for firing a financial advisor stem from emotional factors, and go beyond purely financial motivations.

We partnered with Morningstar to show the top reasons clients fire an advisor to provide insight on what’s driving investor behavior.

What Drives Firing Decisions?

Here are the top reasons clients terminated their advisor, based on a survey of 184 respondents:

Reason for Firing% of Respondents
Citing This Reason
Type of Motivation
Quality of financial advice
and services
32%Emotion-based reason
Quality of relationship21%Emotion-based reason
Cost of services17%Financial-based reason
Return performance11%Financial-based reason
Comfort handling financial
issues on their own
10%Emotion-based reason

Numbers may not total 100 due to rounding. Respondents could select more than one answer.

While firing an advisor is rare, many of the primary drivers behind firing decisions are also emotionally driven.

Often, advisors were fired due to the quality of the relationship. In many cases, this was due to an advisor not dedicating enough time to fully grasp their personal financial goals. Additionally, wealthier, and more financially literate clients are more likely to fire their advisors—highlighting the importance of understanding the client. 

Key Takeaways

Given these driving factors, here are five ways that advisors can build a lasting relationship through recognizing their clients’ emotional needs:

  • Understand your clients’ deeper goals
  • Reach out proactively
  • Act as a financial coach
  • Keep clients updated
  • Conduct goal-setting exercises on a regular basis

By communicating their value and setting expectations early, advisors can help prevent setbacks in their practice by adeptly recognizing the emotional motivators of their clients.

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Curious about what drives investors to hire a financial advisor? Discover the top 5 reasons here.

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