Before your investment advisor was recommending that you buy Target stock, he may have been stocking shelves there. He or she may have been flipping burgers at McDonald's, or even unemployed.
Even investment professionals have to start somewhere, and investment advisor representatives are required to report their full employment histories for the last 10 years on an ongoing basis. That includes gaps in employment and non-financial jobs they gave up years ago.
A look at the data shows where the more than 325,000 IARs registered with the SEC worked over the last decade. In the last 10 years, about 50,000 people said they were unemployed. About 10,000 worked at food service companies like McDonald's, Hooters, Starbucks or Red Lobster or for retail companies like Target or Home Depot.