Featured White Papers from Commonwealth Financial Network

Commonwealth Financial Network
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Founded in 1979, Commonwealth Financial Network, member FINRA/SIPC, is the nation’s largest privately held Registered Investment Adviser–independent broker/dealer, with headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts, and San Diego, California. The firm supports approximately 1,950 independent financial advisors nationwide. For more information, please visit www.commonwealth.com.

Secure Your Firm’s Longevity with Next-Gen Talent

February 13, 2024

Are you eager to secure long-term growth for your practice? If so, consider adding a next-gen advisor to your team. It’s a strategic move that can open new doors to both client and revenue growth. Download this Q&A that explores why your approach matters, how next-gen advisors are breaking barriers, the important of firm culture, and where to source this talent.

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How to Embrace M&A and Leverage Inorganic Growth

January 08, 2024

The road to M&A is fraught with questions. Whether you’re a solo advisor or part of a large enterprise firm, we’ll walk you through M&A planning best practices that will help you leverage inorganic growth in any stage of your business.

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The Advisor’s Guide to Philanthropic Giving for High-Net-Worth Clients

December 01, 2023

Ninety-one percent of HNW investors incorporate charitable giving as part of their overall wealth strategy. Understanding your clients’ charitable giving preferences can help you better anticipate their needs and help them achieve their goals.

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How to Create a Robust Succession Plan for Your Firm

November 16, 2023

You've worked hard to build your business, so transitioning it the right way is important. Whether you’ve already started planning or are just exploring your options, we’ll walk you through four must-have strategies and key questions to ask yourself during this process.

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How to Deliver an Indispensable Client Experience Through Independence

October 04, 2023

Successful businesses know excellent service. Giving yourself time to truly get to know your clients’ needs and then setting your business up to optimize how you serve them is key to establishing long-term relationships. If you’re working at a wirehouse, this isn’t always possible. It’s time to find the right business structure—one that gives you the freedom to work with your clients your way.

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Create Successful Connections Using Client Personas

September 01, 2023

Connecting with your clients through personalized marketing can lead to stronger professional relationships. Not only will you attract the type of clients you want to serve, but you’ll also build trust with them as an advisor who truly understands their needs.

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7 Key Risks to Avoid in Your Financial Advisory Practice

August 01, 2023

Running a successful business means staying on top of day-to-day operations and of the evolving environment in which your business needs to operate as you grow. In our latest guide, we share seven risk factors every advisor should consider, with actionable tips to help you evaluate your firm’s potential liability.

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Why Hiring a Next-Gen Advisor Can Be Good for Your Business

July 01, 2023

Want to develop your firm’s offerings today while also securing its future? Download our whitepaper for insights and actionable steps to help you successfully onboard a next-gen advisor, including guidelines for defining the position you want to fill, recommendations for where to find the perfect candidate, and tips for training and retaining top talent for the long term.

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6 Reasons to Leave the Wirehouse

June 02, 2023

Being a financial advisor at a wirehouse can often feel like you’re living by someone else’s rules. The things that make your business approach unique can get lost in continuously shifting corporate goals and predetermined career paths. Download our infographic and learn six ways working at a wirehouse is holding you back—and why partnering with Commonwealth can make the transition worth the effort.

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A Blueprint for Building an Enduring Practice

April 05, 2023

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your practice to the next level, having a clear plan to grow now and in the future is vital. From outsourcing business solutions to building a talent pipeline, there are strategic considerations you can take today to keep your business thriving for many years to come.

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Identifying Inflection Points in Your Business

March 01, 2023

Whether you run a solo practice or a multiadvisor firm, if you’re looking to take your business to the next level, it’s time to decide if you’re at a critical growth juncture and what that means for your future.

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How to Command the Best Purchase Price for Your Business

February 13, 2023

Selling your practice is a process, not an event. So it’s critical to take the time—at least five years—to prepare your business and effectively position it to be bought at maximum value. How to Command the Best Purchase Price for Your Business provides key strategies to help you transform your practice into one that’s bought, not sold.

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2023 Economic and Market Outlook

January 06, 2023

What could go wrong—or right—for the economy and market in 2023? A lot, it turns out. Read Commonwealth’s Outlook for more on what they’ll be watching and why CIO Brad McMillan says he sees brighter skies ahead.

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Transitioning Your Practice the Way You Want

September 07, 2022

47 percent of industry assets are managed by advisors over the age of 55, and 49 percent of the advisors retiring within the next 10 years are solo practitioners. This means a relatively steady stream of advisors will enter retirement each year. In Transitioning Your Practice the Way You Want, you'll learn how independence affiliation models expand an advisor’s range of succession planning options, while creating opportunities for next-gen advisors looking to grow their practice through mergers and acquisitions.

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Managing the Independent Practice

August 01, 2022

Independence has been the fastest-growing form of advisor affiliation over the last decade. Many affiliation models exist within that space, giving you the freedom to decide what’s best for your firm and vision. Learn how choosing the right partner allows you to run your own practice without giving up critical resources and support.

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Focus on the Experience

July 05, 2022

The client experience—from both an advisor/firm and advisor/client perspective—is a differentiating factor in an independent advisor’s success. In Focus on the Experience, the second white paper in a four-part series with Cerulli Associates, you’ll learn how partner firms can support advisors and why choosing the right firm partner will allow you to create the optimal client experience to build strong, lasting relationships.

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Demystifying the Independent Channel

June 08, 2022

Did you know that 89 percent of advisors who are looking for independence want more autonomy over their business, and nearly all of them want higher payouts? In Demystifying the Independent Channel, the first white paper in a four-part series from Cerulli Associates, you’ll find a further breakdown of which advisors seek independence, and why. You'll also discover what it really means to manage your own business, and how advisors can make a successful transition.

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The Ultimate Retirement Income Planning Guide for Advisors

April 27, 2022

As more and more people approach their golden years, you may see a shift in your practice—from a focus on accumulation and growth to one of income and distribution. It’s important that you’re prepared to not only ensure that your clients have enough to live comfortably, but to help them properly allocate the assets they have.

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How to Evaluate Your Potential Firm’s Compliance Team

April 01, 2022

All compliance teams are bound by the same rules, but it’s how they create policies to comply with those rules that may make them different.

In this white paper, you’ll learn:

  • How to define your ideal compliance partnership
  • Which questions to ask about potential firms’ compliance teams
  • How to use practical resources to help your evaluation
  • What an ongoing relationship should look like

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Breakaway Implications: The Impact Your Firm Partner Can Have On Efficiency

March 01, 2022

You may think that going independent means you’ll have less time for client interactions—after all, you’ll have an office to run. Well, that’s not true for breakaway advisors who partner with the right firm. A recent study from Cerulli Associates breaks down how much time breakaway advisors save by choosing a collaborative firm partner.

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Building Your Best Practice on Your Terms

February 10, 2022

How do advisors leave the employer-based channel stress free? John Pratti did it by finding a collaborative partner who was right for him. Learn how his move to independence and client focus led to revenue growth and a better work-life balance. You’ll take a deep dive into what drove John’s need for change, how Commonwealth supported his goals, and how he more than doubled his fee-based AUM since joining!

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Market and Economic Outlook: Regaining Balance in 2022

January 11, 2022

What’s in store for the markets and economy? According to Commonwealth CIO Brad McMillan and his A-team of analysts, the recovery is no longer dancing to the tune of the pandemic. While the emerging Omicron variant and factors like the Fed’s tightening of monetary policy make for uncertainty, the team outlines the upside possibilities for regaining balance and redefining normal in the year ahead.

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The Advisor's Guide to Advanced Financial Planning Strategies for High-Net-Worth Clients

December 08, 2021

High-net-worth clients can play an integral role in the profitability of your advisory practice. Are you prepared to meet their multifaceted financial planning needs? Follow this guide for a walkthrough of advanced wealth management strategies, including estate planning, special needs care planning, asset protection, and charitable giving.

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The Road to RIA—Only: One Firm's Journey

November 08, 2021

What really happens when you go fee-only and run your own RIA? The Road to RIA-Only: One Firm’s Journey follows the story of two advisors who are doing both. In it, they speak candidly about the highs and lows of the experience and offer advice for others considering a similar path.

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A Quick Guide to Charitable Giving Options

October 01, 2021

Clients looking to give to charity often already know where they want their money to go based on a personal connection or passion for a particular cause. Where they’ll need your help is deciding how to make those donations.

A Quick Guide to Charitable Giving Options reviews a variety of giving methods—offering potential benefits and other considerations for each—and includes a glossary of related terms. With it, you’ll be better equipped to help your clients find the right giving method based on their philanthropic goals.

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Client Retention Checklist for Breakaway Advisors

September 01, 2021

You’ve put time and effort into cultivating great relationships with your clients. As you prepare to leave the wirehouse for independence, learn how to mitigate risk, announce your departure, and create a seamless transition process for your assets.

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So, You Want to Break Away from Your Wirehouse—Now What?

August 01, 2021

Breaking away from your wirehouse is a life-changing decision. If you know it’s the best move for you and your clients, you’ve taken the first big step. We can help you with what comes next. Download our guide to learn about picking an affiliation model, choosing the right firm to partner with, and starting a new business.

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Midyear Outlook 2021: The Long and Winding Road Back to Normal

July 06, 2021

What’s the story for the rest of the year? In his Midyear Outlook 2021, Commonwealth CIO Brad McMillan says it will depend on whether the economy can find its way through a maze of problems—including rising inflation, labor shortages, and supply-chain gaps. Despite these risks, we’ve made real progress, and a return to normal could soon be in sight.

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Building a Brand Identity: A Checklist for Breakaway Advisors

June 03, 2021

Leaving your wirehouse for the independent channel means you have an exciting opportunity to redefine yourself, what you do, and who you serve. Let our checklist help you create a strong brand identity that resonates with your ideal clients and sets you apart from the competition.

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Breaking Away to Break Through

May 01, 2021

Thinking about leaving the wirehouse? Starting your own firm isn't for everyone, but it can be a rewarding journey for you and your clients. Read this case study to learn about two former wirehouse advisors who made the leap to independence, the challenges they faced, and the success they found.

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Strategies for Targeting Organic Growth

March 03, 2021

One of your best chances for growth comes from client interactions and networking activities. That’s where additional assets, opportunities, and referrals come from. Simply put, the more time you spend with clients and professionals already in your circle, the greater your productivity potential.

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5 Steps to an Effective Marketing Plan

February 01, 2021

Examining your marketing strategies and committing them to paper can transform your ideas into a powerful platform for success. 5 Steps to an Effective Marketing Plan will help you create an organized, thoughtful written plan to raise your competitive profile and enhance your ability to attract and retain valuable clients.

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Outlook 2021: A Return to Normal?

January 01, 2021

What’s the story for the economy and markets in 2021? According to Commonwealth CIO Brad McMillan, the recovery has been steady and much faster than expected. Even with ongoing uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus and some anticipated setbacks, McMillan outlines why we may still be on track to something approaching pre-pandemic normal by the end of 2021. Download his 2021 outlook.

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An Estate Planning Blueprint for Financial Advisors

November 01, 2020

Implementing a comprehensive estate plan requires meticulous coordination of the financial, legal, and tax aspects of your client’s life. By asking the right questions and being prepared for issues that may arise, you can take a central role in the planning process and cement yourself as a trusted advisor. Our guide provides the steps you can take to help ensure that all your client’s needs and wishes are being met.

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Why a Next-Gen Advisor Can Be Good for Your Business

October 02, 2020

Hiring a next-gen advisor can benefit every aspect of your business and set you up for long-term success and growth. Download our free white paper to learn insights and actionable steps you can take to help you find the perfect candidate and retain top talent to position your firm for the future.

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Financial Planning for Millennial Women: A Checklist for Financial Advisors

September 02, 2020

Although many millennial women’s needs will overlap with their more established counterparts, younger female clients face unique challenges and opportunities. Our complimentary checklist shows how you can guide these clients to become more knowledgeable, empowered, and confident about their financial outlook. Learn more about why millennial women are an emerging clientele, ways advisors can serve them better, and the right questions to ask to encourage independence.

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5 Strategies for Communicating with Clients in Changing Times

May 15, 2020

In unsteady times, steady talk with your clients can make all the difference in enabling you to strengthen bonds and solidify trust with them. You don’t have to have all the answers—but an effective communications approach can help them feel anchored and ensure that your practice keeps thriving. Our complimentary guide outlines five clear-cut strategies for helping you talk through the uncertainty and position yourself as your clients’ solid ground.

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Achieving Financial Fitness: A Checklist for Your Female Clients

April 01, 2020

Numerous surveys show that women often defer to their male partner regarding financial decisions. By doing so, they may be tragically unprepared to deal with their financial affairs in the event of divorce or death of a spouse. But there’s a solution: get women involved in financial planning by sharing your knowledge. Our free checklist details key steps toward helping female clients understand and gain control of their finances.

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Behavior Modification Guide: How to Motivate Clients to Execute Change

December 01, 2019

Do you have clients who are overspending, have lost sight of their goals, or are stuck in a state of inertia? This guide explains the steps you can take to help them regain control of their financial lives. Understanding the principles of behavior modification, including the five stages of change, is the key to leading clients to execute change and build true confidence. Plus, you won’t want to miss these tips on coaching best practices and keeping your empathy in check.

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An Infrastructure That Future-Proofs Your Business

June 01, 2019

Commonwealth Financial Network® offers a range of affiliation models for wherever you are—and wherever you're going—in your business evolution. Learn about the vast infrastructure, the people, and the indispensable service that are here to support you and your clients, whether you choose to maintain a mix of fees and commissions or you decide to operate as a fee-only advisor.

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How Commonwealth’s Investment Research Team Can Make a Difference for You and Your Clients

April 01, 2019

Institutional-quality research for you and your clients. Guidance on investment management programs, equities, fixed income, and alternatives. A dedicated SRI/ESG resource. Direct access to our chief investment officer. That’s the value-add you get from Commonwealth Financial Network’s Investment Research team.

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How to Command the Best Purchase Price for Your Business

December 01, 2018

Some advisors today are rushing to sell their practices after very little forethought, and they could be leaving money on the table. If you want to get what your practice is worth, focus on four key tenets—business, management, financial, and market—to demonstrate your value to potential buyers.

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Strategies for Targeting Organic Growth

November 01, 2018

Growing your business through practice acquisition is a good goal, but it's a long-term strategy that can take years to accomplish. How can you meet your growth objectives in the meantime? By focusing on these client-facing activities that are proven revenue drivers.

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20-Point System Template

December 01, 2017

Adopt a rainmaking mind-set to boost revenue. Download our free template outlining the 20-point system that can help you stay focused on revenue-generating activities. Learn practical strategies and techniques you can start implementing today to increase referrals, optimize strategic alliances, network more effectively, market to clients and prospects, and hold yourself accountable for your own success!

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