Now that profits are at record highs, financial advisors' next priority should be better people management, a new industry study suggests.

Cost control, solid productivity and soaring client profitability, helped the typical advisory firm reach a profit margin in excess of 20% in 2012, according to an annual survey by FA Insight, a Tacoma, Wash., research and consulting firm. That's the highest margin in the survey's five-year history.

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