A bank's ability to earn money affects its safety and soundness. A bank can retain its earnings, boosting its capital cushion, or put them to work addressing problematic loans, likely making the bank better prepared to withstand financial trouble. Obviously, banks that are losing money are less able to do those things.
Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management did above-average on Bankrate's test of earnings, achieving a score of 30 out of a possible 30.
Return on equity, calculated by dividing net income (profit, basically) by the total amount of equity, is one widely used measure of a bank's earnings. The most recent annualized quarterly return on equity for Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management was 28.32 percent, above the national average of 8.10 percent.
The bank earned net income of $39.4 million on total equity of $154.0 million for the twelve months ended December 31, 2017. The bank had an annualized return on average assets, or ROA, of 17.65 percent, above the 1 percent deemed satisfactory in accordance with industry standards, and above the average for U.S. banks of 1.00 percent.