3 Reasons Why Fall is The Season for Change

If you’ve been curious about changing broker dealers, congratulations.  Your timing could be great.  Here are 3 reasons why right now might be the ideal time to make a move. Broker Dealers Have Figured Out The Answer To “What Now?” With the shut down of travel and limits to direct

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More Than Just A Summer Fling

As summer comes to a close, we are seeing the first wave of advisors whose experience switching to a new broker-dealer has been almost entirely virtual. Pre-COVID the idea of a VIP trip to the “Home Office” was a critical step in the transition process and a first-class vacation get-away.

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Make These Dog Days Different

We’re heading into “The Dog Days of Summer” so called because the constellation Canis Major (‘The Greater Dog’) dominates the sky. Historically the “Dog Days” are a time to take things easy, like dogs tend to do in the heat. This year feels different though.  Many advisors are anxious (clients

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Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

You might remember that first line from Dylan Thomas’ most famous poem from high school English class or in the movie Interstellar.  It rose up this week in a discussion about an advisor with an increasingly common challenge. One that historically might have had them “going gentle” into the good

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If You Squint You Can See The Silver Lining

A quote from David Canter (head of Fidelity Institutional’s RIA segment) in a recent AdvisorHub story, brought up an odd upside to the stay-at-home orders impacting  the country.   Advisors looking to move broker-dealers might want to consider it when thinking about their timeline. Canter noted, “Several advisors who have

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Will Advisors Follow This National Trend?

Several news reports in the past few weeks have called attention to a growing trend.  One destined to impact the world of financial advisors.   As the pandemic swept the country, forcing many  to work from home or to simply stay-at-home without work (or income), a trend has picked up.  NPR’s

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Impact of Coronacrash on Advisor Moves

A question we’ve heard a lot lately  is “are people really transitioning right now?”   While the  Pandemic shut down everything from schools and restaurants to sporting events and travel these past few months, one thing it didn’t slow was the flow of advisors transitioning to new broker-dealers. In fact,

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Steal This (Seminar) Idea

In 1996, Bill Gates famously announced “Content is King”, and the current pandemic has pushed that axiom to its limits, with quarantine driving spikes in internet usage and families looking for anything to watch now that they’ve reached the end of the Netflix library. Producing content is no easy task

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The Second Biggest Free Agent Move Of The Year: You

Say what you will about his golf game, Tom Brady’s departure from the Patriots to the Buccaneers will likely go down as one of the biggest free agent moves in NFL history.  Brady more than any other QB has systemized success. Leaving the Patriots after 20 seasons (9 Super Bowls/6

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Steal This Idea (Too!)

Did you do a Financial Plan for a client at the end of December/early January? Do you think they might be concerned about how the market may have affected their plan (what with a 15% drop in their net worth just a few months later)? Of course they are, but

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Steal This Idea

As unsettled as this time may seem, for aggressive advisors it can actually be a good time.  The uncertainty that is swirling around provides a great opportunity for you to prove your value to clients by preemptively answering questions, calming fears, and providing access to top minds and data. Your

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Why Now May Not Be The Time to Switch BDs

Helping advisors secure multiple offers and transition to a new broker-dealer is our area of expertise so this may sound a bit odd…now may not be the time to switch broker-dealers. Let us explain. Amidst the incredible disruption of the past several weeks broker-dealers are falling into 2 camps –

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Level-Up Your Zoom Calls

Zoom is everywhere, even Saturday Night Live used the technology to overcome the challenges of stay-at-home and social distancing orders and deliver a new episode this past weekend. You (and your clients) are likely becoming comfortable with the tool now too. We touched on some basic Zoom tips a few weeks

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Making Work-From-Home Work For Your Practice

Like so many of you we’ve switched our operations from the traditional office environment to a 100% remote, work-from-home scenario.  A few days in and so far so good. For advisors running a practice, the challenges presented by mandated office closure orders for non-essential businesses (heaped on top of a

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Zoom In! 3 Tips For More Impactful Video Calls With Clients

Fears about Covid-19 and new mandates against in-person interactions have led many advisors to explore video calls to engage with clients.  Doing so during these times makes sense and there are no shortage of solutions out there to explore (Zoom, WebEx, Google Hangouts and Skype among them).  Regardless of the

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Big Box Theory: Four Reasons To Jump To A Wirehouse Today

Quick question.  If you are a sought after recruit or multi-million dollar team, why wouldn’t you switch teams to join one of the Big Box firms (Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, UBS or Merrill Lynch)? Here are 4 reasons why a leap to one of the traditional powerhouses right now makes

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Dehumanizing Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is expecting a lot from a piece of paper. In a recent memo to advisors about the expected $13 billion purchase of E*Trade, management apparently began laying out a case for advisors to ignore their gut instincts and to trust the folks at the top. As reported by

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Three Reasons You Should Consider Independence Right Now!!

The independent movement has felt like a freight train gathering increasing steam and speed over the past decade. All manner of legacy advisors have evaluated their options at a competitor and like-minded platform firms and eventually opted to hang their own shingle and dive into the world of business ownership.

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Does Ed Jones Ruling Provide Cover For RayJay In Reverse Churn Lawsuit?

Earlier this week AdvisorHub reported that Raymond James was being sued for “reverse churning” in fee-based accounts. The investor-led lawsuit seeks remedy, alleging RayJay “…encourag(ed) buy-and-hold customers to move from commission trading accounts to fee-based advisory accounts without considering the suitability of the recommendations. A class-action lawsuit in California was

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UBS Attempts To Delay Death March; Delays Skyrocketing Grid Adjustments

The suits at UBS thought better of completely committing to a ‘the beatings will continue until morale improves’ policy come January 1 – instead choosing to delay (sort of) skyrocketing grid adjustments by six months. With an asterisk. Delaying team grid adjustments higher, but sticking to their guns with individual

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Merrill In Advisors Pockets Again

Keys? √ Wallet? √ Phone? √ Other Phone? √   That’ll be the new routine for more than 14,000 Merrill Lynch brokers later this year as AdvisorHub is reporting that the legacy BD has decided to issue each of them (as well as other advisors within the Bank of America

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Stifel Continues To Smash: Adds Multi-Million Dollar Teams In NY, TX

Stifel has been the clubhouse leader in the wealth management recruiting space for better than two years. And they aren’t using massive upfront payments and an outsized recruiting deal to do so. Advisors say that culture matters and the Stifel brand feels like ‘home’ and the friendly confines of wirehouses

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UBS Veteran Accuses Firm Of Skimming Client Fees; Files FINRA Complaint

In a serious legal claim that  raised eyebrows everywhere, a long-tenured UBS advisor has accused the firm of skimming commission-based fees from retirement accounts that he manages. In fact, he believes that those funds have not only been skimmed but have also been redirected to ‘plan sponsors’ that affiliate with

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Preparing Your Practice For A Sale

Depending on what source you look at, the average age of an advisor in the financial services industry is anywhere from 51-57 years old. While that would typically leave plenty of time until the average age of retirement, the average age of an advisor selling their business is much younger,

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5 Point Plan – Developing A Book Of Business Everyone Will Want

The life of a financial advisor has a certain trajectory. As a ‘rookie’ you will generally take anyone and everyone, no matter the product and services they require. Assets and household counts matter. As your business matures most advisors pivot to a pure assets under management strategy. Gather as much

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MERRILL EXIT WOUNDS: More Advisors Flee, Choose Stifel In Texas

This is more than a theme or a drumbeat at this point. It’s a certified route. Merrill Lynch advisors have cashed their last retention bonus checks, huddled with transition legal experts, and then sprinted away from the BofA owned entity. Another high-achieving duo exited recently: “Bart A. Reese, who spent

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RECRUITING: Regionals Continue To Embrace Epic Opportunity

Much has been written regarding the draw down of recruiting deals in the wirehouse space; connected to the protocol exit and its implementation across the wirehouse world. Beginning with UBS, both Merrill and Morgan Stanley have either completely stood down or significantly reduced the scale and scope of their recruiting

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RECRUITING: When the Compliance Door Slams Shut

There is a segment of the advisor ranks out there that can be considered ‘special circumstances’. These advisors have taken hits to their compliance records, either through actions that they regret and would like to take back, or from circumstances out of their control related to client expectations gone wrong,

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RECRUITING: The Cloak and Dagger of the Chase

Should it really be this way? Should the evaluation of the current market value of a business that you and your team have built, orchestrated, curated, given your heart and soul to each and every day for the last two decades, come down to sneaking off to the parking garage

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OPINION: Recruiting PTSD Is Real

The layers of wirehouse (and regional) management continue to shrink. Across the wealth management industry the least popular and least secure job in the business is regional and branch management. The reasons behind the truth of the above statements are many; but the consequences, both personal and professional, are striking.

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BILLIONS: Morgan Stanley Loses $6B Team To Dynasty

Whichever Morgan Stanley employee that came up with the idea that exiting the broker protocol would somehow lead to an uptick in retaining the firms largest and most profitable advisors needs to be fired. It’s not working. Via AdvisorHub, the Houston based Morgan Stanley team departed a few days ago:

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Golden Handcuffs Have Turned Rusty At Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley walks to the beat of its own drum at the moment. As of today they are the only legitimate global investment bank/brokerage force left that can claim scale in sheer numbers and a ‘smorgasbord’ of investment banking products to go along with globally available branch offices and traditional

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The Age Of The Wirehouse Is No More; The Numbers Don’t Lie

A decade. Ten years later, the landscape is predictably different than what financial advisor veterans remember. In late 2008 and creeping into early 2009, names like Merrill Lynch, UBS, Morgan Stanley, towered over the wealth management industry with legions of brokers with the best office addresses, widely held positions on

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The Tech Test Drive

In a survey of  803 advisors by Forbes†, about 3/4 of all respondents recognized the importance of state-of-the-art technology in serving their clients. And notably, …”those financial advisors with the highest annual incomes are more likely to see the value in technology…” When considering a move to a new broker-dealer,

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Tom Terrific, Transitioning, And The Age Old Question

When Tom Brady leads the New England Patriots into action in Super Bowl LIII this weekend he will attempt to become the oldest QB in history to win the big game.  At 41 years old Brady is in rarified air, performing at peak levels well beyond the NFL’s average age

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Cash In and Earn-Out

The Importance of An Earn-Out Provision When Buying An Advisory Practice With 10 year SBA loans going for as low as 4.4%, it has become easier for advisors to offer a big upfront check to grease the wheels on an acquisition. Be cautious; what you do to entice an advisor

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Know the Valuation of Your Financial Practice

Financial advisors often determine the valuation of their practice only near the time they plan to exit the practice. Worse, many do not have a solid, objective method for determining that valuation. According to the 2015 Fidelity RIA benchmarking study, only about 42% of RIAs undertake regular valuations on their

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What Are Your Strengths?

Martin Seligman, Ph.D., noted optimism researcher, has proposed that one of the surest paths to happiness is to know your signature strengths and build your life around them, particularly if it’s in a way that has meaning to you. This translates in business perfectly. If you do what you do

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Transitioning Wirehouses

Transitioning Wirehouses? 5 Tips for Exiting with your Book (and Integrity) in Hand You’ve made the big decision to transition to a new wirehouse. Or, you’re taking the plunge to independent status. Change is good. Now, it’s time to make a smooth transition. You’re ready and excited. But, how will your

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The Secret to a Great Life…

A lot of us have been attending high school and college graduations lately and I wanted to share a profound experience I had at one the other day. The speaker broke down a really complicated topic – How to have a great life – and made it at simple as this. A

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Strategies for Finding a Successor

As you begin thinking about retiring from your financial practice and all the steps required to make that happen, recruiting a successor should be at the top of your to-do list. Succession planning has gained a following as a necessary tool for an advisory firm’s long-term success, and for good

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Thinking Team Structure

During the early stages of their practice, most financial advisors work as sole practitioners. However, the ability of such practices to grow is limited by the advisor’s skill set and capacity as an individual. Many sole practitioners soon find themselves unable to keep up with evolving financial markets and their

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Prepare Your Business For Sale

Depending on what source you look at, the average age of an advisor in the financial services industry is anywhere from 51-57 years old. While that would typically leave plenty of time until the average age of retirement (age 62), the average age of an advisor selling their business is

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Manage your clients, prospects, and more by using a CRM

A robust customer/client relationship management (CRM) system offers tools that can significantly improve your office efficiencies. In fact, the Financial Planning Tech Survey of 2015 reports that close to 17% of financial advisors felt that the CRM as a tech tool had the second most significant impact on their practices,

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Are You Hiring College Students?

College students can be an affordable way to try out new talent and to get those overlooked, lower priority tasks finally finished. Are you hiring students? You should be. College students are less expensive than full-time employees, especially if you hire someone on a work-study program (you will receive a

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A Three? The Truth Hurts!

Have you ever had one of your best clients gut punch you? Have you ever asked a question that you thought you knew the answer to and the response came back very unexpected? That’s what happened recently when we received back a survey from one of our best and most

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8 Steps to Create a Client Newsletter

As you continue to grow and manage your financial practice, it’s increasingly important to find low-cost marketing solutions to help promote your business and keep it in the forefront of your clients’ minds. An effective and inexpensive way to get your name and message out to existing and potential clients

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