I work in a brokerage and my bosses in particular are very high-end advisors who specialize in working with HNW/UHNW (high net-worth and ultra high net-worth) individuals, families, and institutions. Generally, you don’t need a minimum salary for one, but many advisors (especially the established ones) are especially or only interested in potential clients with a certain amount of investible assets. The amount varies and is unofficial; if you’re related and/or referred by a super important and huge client but you don’t have that amount, an IA may want to serve you anyway.
If you’re concerned about not meeting certain minimums, I’d say to go for an IA that’s trying to establish his/her career and building clientele – you’ll probably also get more personalized service. A good place to start is to ask around among your friends and families. References = preferred business and those loose, unwritten rules matter much less.
I think an advisor is worth it if you’re super busy, don’t have time to manage your own investments, and/or you’re not familiar with investing. It’s important to be realistic though, and to have a good general understanding of the markets now when looking at your results during portfolio reviews (e.g. the markets are very unstable right now so anything can happen, but things aren’t as awful as 5 years ago).
Have a clear goal in mind – are you trying to grow your assets or are you just looking to safeguard your money against inflation? If you’re looking for growth, understand that there are risks – the more aggressively you want your money to grow, the bigger the risks. If you’re looking for inflation protection, you may want to aim for perhaps a 2-5% growth in a year – depends on your advisor.
Just make sure your adisor has solid credentials, experience, and that they are trustworthy (the last one is why I say to ask around for a referral to one).
There are a lot of services available – you’ll have more options if you go for a bank-owned institution, but brokerages that focus on investments only are good, too. In bank-owned firms, you can expect services like planning for the future (retirement funds, establishing trust funds for your dependents, or even trusts for charities that mean a lot to you), investment solutions for more short term goals, tax planning, insurance services, business ownership planning (like if you want to sell or pass your business on one day), etc.!
Hope this was at least somewhat helpful. 🙂