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Schwab Sees FAs Adding Services Without Upping Fees

By Alex Padalka June 14, 2017

The majority of financial advisors are optimistic about opportunities to grow their business in the coming decade, but many are already working harder just to remain in place, according to a recent survey by Charles Schwab Advisor Services.

Most advice firms (71%) are actively looking to grow by acquiring clients, with a new prospecting strategy either already in place or currently being planned, according to the survey which in March and April polled 912 advisors at independent firms that custody assets at Schwab.

Moreover, 79% of advisors believe there will be more opportunities than challenges in the next 10 years, the survey found.

But 44% of advisors say they’re providing additional services to their clients without charging them, while 40% say they’ve been spending more time on each client but haven’t raised their fees, according to Schwab.

In addition, 24% of advisors believe that investing in technology to build scale isn’t offsetting the expense, the survey found. Nonetheless, most advisors are still confident technology will help them: 76% think technological advances will let their companies stay ahead of the competition, according to Schwab.

The survey also found advisors think regulatory changes will affect investments in employee training (44%) and hiring choices (23%), influence marketing (28%) and impact how they pick vendors (26%).

What happens in D.C. isn’t just impacting how advisors do business, meanwhile. A third of advisors say the topic of choice during conversations with clients is the current political situation, and 68% say the current environment is causing their clients a lot of concern, according to the survey. However, advisors are a little calmer than their clients about the current environment: only 49% say it is causing them a lot of concern, the survey found.