Applying planning expertise is a very complicated art form, a skill that is acquired over time, but which can be accelerated if there were a way to capture many of things that soon-to-be-retired advisors have learned through years of practice.
There are days when our trade press is even more misleading than the consumer rags.
We have the royal coronation in England to remind us that once upon a time, one person would issue all the laws – which is an unfair but very effective way to make things happen. Here are the edicts that I would issue if the financial services world made me its king.
The 2023 T3/Inside Information Software Survey is now available. It’s the best guide to the 300+ fintech solutions in the marketplace, and a good buyer’s guide for advisory firms that are looking for additions or enhancements to their tech stack.
It’s rarely mentioned, but it’s stunning how often the financial planning profession has foreshadowed the evolution of our social environment.
Let’s explore whether the CFP Board, the most powerful and prominent organization supporting the advisory profession, can do more to support the adoption of a full fiduciary standard. We’ll also ask whether the CFP Board actually owns the trademark for “certified financial planner,” as it claims.
It’s big news that Envestnet is moving into the RIA custodial space and will soon be competing head-to-head with its biggest integration partners: an expanded Schwab platform, Fidelity and Pershing. I suspect that this is just the first of many so-called software “platforms” that will jump into the custody competition.
I’m looking over my previous “trends” article, published at this time a year ago, and some of my ”fearless predictions” were outlandish then but now seem ordinary. That means I did something right.
Let’s look at the powerful feature set an advisory firm could put together from a collection of the higher-rated, low-market-share programs and solutions that I’ve collected from past surveys, many of which you may not even be aware of.
Less than a month after I recommended that an organization – specifically NAPFA – set new membership standards regarding an RIA firm’s revenue model, one has risen to take up the challenge.
Instead of focusing on the advantages fiduciary standards would provide to the profession, lobbyists who represent advisors should point to the catastrophic failures of the perverse incentives embedded in the brokerage business model.
Advisors won the last war – true professionals achieved victory by adopting fiduciary principles and providing comprehensive planning. But a new battlefront has emerged – what I call the “next argument” – and achieving victory will slow and painful.
Join this session with leading academics, financial experts, and experienced financial advisors to have your questions about annuity products and strategies answered.
Join this session to learn how to implement Commission-Free annuities in a financial plan, determine the client needs they're best suited for, and manage these solutions within a fiduciary practice.
How do you know what your clients are thinking in real time, as the markets jump around unpredictably, as clients go through life changes which are largely invisible to their advisor unless the clients proactively contact them?
What is the state-of-the-art for consolidating a tech stack and protecting client data?
How are advisors coping with the new Department of Labor (DOL) rollover rules? Here are a dozen observations.
Here is the just released our 2022 T3/Inside Information Software Survey. It ranks, by market share, the leading software solutions in advisory-firm tech stacks in 35 different categories.
Geopolitical upheaval and rapid inflation have driven volatility and, with that, questions from clients about whether to reposition portfolios defensively. In my wide-ranging conversation with Harold Evensky, he explained how he responds to fears that this time is different.
New data on consumer preferences and behaviors during COVID shows that the advisory firms face daunting challenges with respect to staffing, differentiation and – if they are private-equity backed – financing and maintaining profitability.
I predicted that 2021 would be a transitional year for managing an advisory business, and I expect this transition to accelerate and become fully formed in 2022. These are the changes that I envision for the coming year and beyond.
Is it possible that, as the planning profession matures, all planners will eventually follow the same path that every other profession has followed, and charge on an hourly basis for the advice they give – like lawyers, tax professionals and accountants?
Tom Giachetti counsels a confused and befuddled advisor (played by me, Bob Veres) who is seeking advice on common but complicated issues that have come up recently around the profession.
The SEC has totally abandoned its consumer protection mission, which is clearly spelled out in the law, and has been for at least the past 81 years.
When do we stop hiding and start accommodating? When do we reach the point where we can attend in-person events, while masked and taking other reasonable precautions?
Last week witnessed a bold adventure in in-person conferencing… and lessons in how to manage clients (and their portfolios) in an unprecedented market environment. But the memorable moment at the ENGAGE conference was David Kelly’s statement that bitcoin is a cult and not a currency.
I’m hearing from advisors who are worried about the profession's evolution and whether smaller firms can survive. They feel small and helpless against the wave of consolidation.
Millions of people – many of whom are excellent financial planning prospects – may not realize that they have to deal with cross-border planning complications which, if handled clumsily or not at all, will significantly reduce their wealth.
A just-released survey shows that advisors are not quite ready to attend in-person conferences following the 16-month pandemic hiatus. When they do, smaller conferences that offer networking opportunities will gain share relative to the custodian-sponsored national mega-events. And advisors are tired of hearing from high-priced political speakers.
The most consequential program in the financial planning world is being ignored by those to whom it matters most – aspiring advisors and the firms that will benefit from hiring them.
In 40 years, I’ve never seen as many signs of change in the planning/advisory profession as I see right now.
Joel Bruckenstein of T3 and I just released the 2021 T3/Inside Information Advisor Software Survey, which includes user ratings and market share statistics (and year-on-year changes to both) for more than 400 different software products and services in 32 different categories.
The Financial Planning Association, or FPA, is the principal membership organization for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals and those who support the financial planning process. I am joined today by the two leaders of the FPA and a veteran observer of the financial planning profession. I am looking forward to a spirited discussion about the role that the FPA will play among financial planners, the challenges it faces and how my guests plan to overcome those challenges.
Let’s look at the correlation between size of independent advisory firms and the average wealth of the clients they serve.
Does time diversification work in the real world? Do portfolios get less risky – i.e., converge to a more reliable expected return – the longer we wait?
I'm going to assess the state of the profession as we emerge, exhausted, from our tumultuous 2020 experience.
This mass exodus of breakaway brokers hasn’t happened, much to the chagrin of us prognosticators, and I know why.
The most obvious solution for the advisory firms stranded by the Oranj shutdown has gone unnoticed.
The profession has a diversity and inclusion problem. Look at the speakers pictured on the advertisements for financial planning conferences, and you see white men in business suits with occasional white women.
Bill Bengen’s research calculated how much a retiree can take out safely from a generic portfolio over 30 years without running out of money. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could take a prospective client’s asset allocation and calculate the percent of time periods since 1926 that it would have survived a 30-year retirement?
As we all navigate a crisis that’s dramatically changed our lives, one of the best-known commentators on the advisory profession takes a longer view on what it will take for your business to not just survive — but thrive. In an informative Q&A with Bob Huebscher, Veres will explore the many transitions facing advisors and offer advice on building deeper connections in a world where every other advisor can be your competitor.
Ultra-low interest rates and a flood of private equity dollars seeking a decent return have driven the valuations paid in the M&A market to crazy levels, according to two of the most prominent acquirers.
Recently, I released a comprehensive fee survey that was designed to test what, exactly, is going on in the advisor marketplace – to assess whether firms are, indeed, migrating from the AUM revenue model to something that more closely matches time and internal costs with fees charged.
Everybody is wondering how the stock market can be so high while the U.S. economy is so low. But you don’t hear the same rumbling concerns about the bond market – even though something very similar to ultra-high P/Es is going on in the fixed income side of your portfolio.
Building trust with clients and prospects is the most important way to have lasting relationships. Find out what research shows on how people assess whether you are someone they can trust. Learn the important kinds of verbal communication and body language that open people to trusting you, as well as techniques that will help you better understand clients. Hear how other advisors have established their credibility and trust with clients. Get advice on how to conduct virtual meetings effectively. Ask questions about how to communicate with difficult clients and change the direction of those relationships.
Normative standards can be broadly defined as a consensus among givers of advice on what advice or service best suits a particular set of circumstances. Unlike most other professions, those standards don’t exist among financial planners. That may soon change.
As you read this, the Financial Planning Association is engaged in one of the most consequential initiatives in its history, and for some reason this important program is getting zero publicity.
The pandemic created a nightmarish environment for advisors, who must cope with the human and financial toll on their clients. But a few farsighted practitioners are seizing the changes forced upon them to improve the way they serve their clients and manage their teams.
Bear markets beget portfolio losses, unhappy clients and, sadly, lawsuits against advisors. If you relied on any of the popular risk tolerance products to construct that portfolio, here’s how you are likely to fare under the careful scrutiny of an arbitrator.
How will the real professionals, going forward, distinguish themselves from the sales agents who are once again comfortably fitting themselves into sheep’s clothing?