April 26, 2016Are Sole Practitioners Fading into the Sunset?
Research firm Cerulli Associates says solo FAs are getting thinner on the ground. Do you see this trend continuing?
Yes. Though there will always be mavericks, scaling up has become vital to survival due to rising costs.53% No. Automation and outsourcing empower those who still want to work alone.
April 19, 2016Do Your Clients Understand What a Fiduciary Is?
With all the publicity surrounding the release of the Department of Labor's new fiduciary rule, how much does the public really understand about the concept of a fiduciary?
Yes – My clients have always understood the term because I explained it to them4% Yes – They haven't missed the media explosion over the new DOL rule80% No – They still don't really grasp the idea
April 12, 2016Is the DOL Rule All You Thought It Would Be?
To the extent you can tell at this early stage, how did the Department of Labor’s new client-first rule for retirement accounts mesh with your expectations?
Less of a big deal than I imagined.6% Harsher than I thought.37% About what I expected.
April 5, 2016What’s More Important to the Industry, Robos or DOL Reform?
The Department of Labor’s attempt to impose fiduciary standards on all retirement-account advisors and the advance of automated investment advice technologies get a lot of ink around here. Which do you think is the bigger story? Tell us why in the comments.
Robos79% DOL's fiduciary rule
March 29, 2016Which Candidate’s Presidency Would Be Best for Advisors?
Whose administration would be best for economic growth, national stability and regulation of the financial industry?
Hillary Clinton17% Ted Cruz33% John Kasich4% Bernie Sanders20% Donald Trump
March 8, 2016Do you use a committee structure to make investment decisions?
Independent RIAs aren't required to use investment committees for decision-making. But committees can provide evidence of more robust decisions. Do you have an investment committee?
February 23, 2016Do Volatile Markets Make Client Retention Easier or Harder?
The first couple of months of 2016 have lurched from one market-shaking event to another. In such market conditions is it easier or harder to keep clients?
Easier – It's a time when you can shine and differentiate yourself from the competition.55% Harder – Clients are concerned they're losing money and can get restless.
February 16, 2016Is Market Volatility Bringing Gold Back Into the Conversation?
With markets in turmoil, gold might look pretty good for some investors. Is now the time to have "the gold chat"?
No. Except for gold bugs, most investors remain wary of the yellow metal. Even in small doses.35% Yes. Slowing global growth and an eventual waning in the dollar’s momentum make gold a worthwhile topic to explore.18% Possibly. But any such dialogue needs to be couched in a “wait-and-see” framework. It’s just too early to inject more volatility into client portfolios.
February 9, 2016Long term, what's the biggest threat to retaining clients?
With pressure on fees, robos creeping into the high net worth space, and persistently volatile and bearish markets, what factors worry you most when it comes to retaining clients?
Fee pressure58% Market turbulence
February 2, 2016Who Would You Rather Sell Your Firm To?
With private equity house Lighyear Capital buying AIG's advisors, BNY Mellon acquiring Atherton Lane Advisers, and a few indie mergers on the boards, 2016 is already shaping up to be a banner year for M&A. If you were to sell your firm, what is your preferred buyer?
Private equity. They're comparatively patient and culturally neutral.8% A big bank, where I know my firm will thrive with lots of cross-selling opportunities.86% Another wealth advisor, so that the firm's culture remains intact with a like-minded buyer.