Harold Evensky: Is This Time Different?
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.
The Post-COVID Challenges Facing the Planning Profession
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.
Don’t Fear the Meter: The Inescapable Future for the Hourly Revenue Model
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?
The Bold Return to In-Person Conferences
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.
Bringing Cross-Border Planning Expertise to the Advisory Profession
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.
Advisors Ranking of National Conferences
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 Results of the Veres/T3 Annual Software Survey
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 Future of the Financial Planning Association
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.
A New Tool to Visualize Retirement Planning
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?
A Q&A With Bob Veres on the Future of the Advisory Profession
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.
The Powerful Evolution in Fee Structures
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.
Is the Bond Market as Disconnected from Reality as the Stock Market?
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.
Q&A: Communicating and Building Trust with Clients In A Virtual World
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.
Toward Normative Standards in the Advice Profession
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.
Coping With COVID
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.
A Comparison of Risk Tolerance Products
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.
Measuring the Quality of an Advisory Firm
We’ve all gritted our teeth whenever one of the trade magazines comes out with a list of the “top” wealth management firms, ranked from “top” to “bottom” based on the absolute least meaningful way to measure the quality of an advisory business: their AUM. The goal of such lists should be to identify those firms that are best at serving their clients and are managed in a healthy and sustainable way. Here’s a way to rank firms that achieves that goal.
Five Big Ideas to Gain an Unfair Competitive Advantage in 2020
Let’s look here for a handful of unfair advantages to gain over the competition in 2020. These are things that are not hard to implement, which will help you become more efficient, gain new clients or stand out from your peers.
The Interview Questions That Only Outstanding Job Candidates Can Answer
Dr. Suzanne Peterson delivered a keynote presentation at the NAPFA spring conference, and Bob discusses her penetrating insights about the unconventional questions advisors should ask to select for exceptional new hires. Bob also tells us what he really thinks about Reg BI - and what is in store for attendees of his upcoming conference.
Survey Results - RIA Capacity and Segmentation Practices
CANAM Research surveyed over 300 RIAs on their capacity and segmentation practices. Join this webinar for the survey results and to learn the key takeaways from three distinct vantage points:
Bob Veres is an editor and publisher of the Inside Information service for financial planners, monthly columnist for Financial Planning magazine, and author of The New Profession, a new book about the future of the financial planning profession.
Lisa Rapuano, CFA, is a financial services executive with over 25 years experience analyzing businesses and investing in technology. She spent 10 years of her career at Legg Mason managing the top decile $4 billion Special Investment Trust and for 10 years after that she managed hedge funds.
Brent Weiss CFP®, ChFC® is a co-founder and the head of planning for Facet Wealth. He has over a decade of experience as an investment advisor and financial planner for high net worth individuals. As a former principal at an independent wealth management firm, he will examine the results through the lens of an advisor who's been through the generational transition underway in the industry.
A New Way to Charge Custodial Fees
If you’re looking for something new to worry about, imagine how it would impact your firm if the independent custodians were to decide that instead of charging your clients a variety of fees for their services, they would charge you an asset-based fee that would cover everything. The custodial costs would suddenly come out of your pocket.
The (Un)certain Future for Small Advisory Firms
Behemoths like Amazon and Uber have transformed industries, putting smaller competitors out of business. Could the same fate await smaller financial planners? Many analysts have predicted massive consolidation in our industry, resulting in a landscape where a few “Goliaths” make it impossible for the small “Davids” to compete. Is this thesis accurate and, if so, what should advisors do to protect themselves?