July 16, 2013What Stands in the Way of Your Success?
What’s your biggest practice-management challenge?
Recruiting skilled employees7% Staying on top of technology0% Coping with regulatory uncertainty86% Finding enough time to talk to clients, manage their money and do everything else
July 9, 2013Can There Be “Too Much Information” on Compensation?
Should you explain in depth to clients every single fee and commission associated with their accounts, or do most prefer fewer details?
Advisors should be explicit about every last detail on compensation, verbally and in writing37% It’s enough to give clients a document explaining all fees — and have them sign it11% Advisors are responsible for disclosing only the fees they charge, not costs like fund loads16% As long as advisors comply with regulations, they should have discretion on what they disclose
July 2, 2013Will the Death of DOMA Change Your Practice?
The Supreme Court last week struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, granting important financial rights to same-sex couples. Do you expect the ruling to affect your advisory business?
Yes, I expect to get a lot more same-sex couples seeking retirement- and estate-planning advice40% That is not our clientele, so we will not see any change to our practice27% Since state laws still vary with regard to several key rules, it's too early to tell0% We plan to recruit an advisor who specializes in same-sex couples, to attract their business
June 25, 2013Do You Foresee Fallout From More Dispute Disclosure?
The SEC has authorized Finra to publicize actions against brokers more widely and disclose more information about disciplinary measures, including monetary sanctions under $10,000. How will the new policy affect the advisory industry?
It won’t — violations are already disclosed on BrokerCheck10% To protect their reputations, financial firms will fight charges instead of settling them50% Investors will be better-informed when choosing an advisor10% Arbitration and litigation against the industry will increase
June 18, 2013Are All Our Practices More or Less the Same?
It can feel as if the industry contains deep divides between the various business models. Do you feel you can learn from advisors whose practices differ markedly from yours?
I'm a fiduciary; I can't derive much that's useful from non-fiduciary advisors6% I can relate to advisors from other channels but only if their book size is in the same ballpark as mine76% I can learn from peers even when there are differences6% I'm interested in learning only from fee-based or fee-only peers
June 11, 2013Can Advisors Use Social Media to Recommend Stocks?
Regulators say the rules governing how advisors communicate to the public through printed materials and websites extend to social media. But confusion remains. Last week, for instance, two advisors with extensive Twitter followings had a testy exchange about making stock tips in social media. Where do you stand?
It’s OK to recommend stocks on Facebook, Google Plus, etc., as long as you don’t make specific performance predictions.0% It’s OK to recommend stocks and even predict performance as long as you’re not soliciting business.86% It’s never OK to recommend stocks in social media.0% Nobody worries about this except the wirehouses, which have thousands of advisors to keep in line.
June 4, 2013Do Wirehouses Punish Breakaway Brokers?
Last month Morgan Stanley began legal action against several "breakaway" brokers in Idaho. Are Wall Street firms sometimes vindictive when it comes to advisors who jump ship?
Yes. They seek to make examples of some, at times arbitrarily, to keep others in place.7% No. Big companies don't waste resources out of spite.33% It's complicated. Big firms can be a little arbitrary about whom they pursue, but departing staffers sometimes commit infractions, like trying to leave with client information that doesn't belong to them.
May 28, 2013Are You a Futurist Advisor?
Market gurus love to talk about what the global economy will look like in 10 or 15 years — especially where the winners and losers will be. Does your own vision of the future influence the investment advice you give your clients?
No. I stick with what is known and provable.28% My view of the future plays a role, but I hedge my "bets" on specific outcomes.50% I take the long view and help clients invest for a world that will be very different in 20 years.
May 21, 2013Should Advisors Be Worried About Bloomberg Black?
Bloomberg is trialing an online wealth management service for affluent investors. For $100 a month, members can track their accounts, research new investment ideas and get advice from one of nine staff advisors. Does Bloomberg Black represent a threat to the industry?
It's bad news for other online services but not for flesh-and-blood wealth managers.7% Investors will never trust it — especially after the news about Bloomberg journalists raiding its terminals for stories.15% I'm scared. A hundred bucks a month isn't much to pay for data and service from a respected brand.24% A robot making stock and fund recommendations based on algorithms? I don't think so.
May 14, 2013What Are You Telling Clients About the Stock Market?
The S&P 500 is up nearly 15% year to date and just hit a new high. Can this continue?
The rally has legs; valuations are reasonable, and the economic recovery has just begun37% It's a great time to take some profits, sit back and see what happens next13% The emperor has no clothes — a mighty crash is on the way this year