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How financial advisers can get unstuck in the New Year

December 27, 2016

Most financial advisers started their firm because they had a dream for a different life and a vision of how to get there. They're passionate, ambitious and committed to building their new venture. Fast forward a few years and, in all too many...

Mercer Advisors acquires California RIA Fabian Wealth Strategies

December 14, 2016

Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Mercer Advisors announced Wednesday morning that it has acquired Fabian Wealth Strategies, a Costa Mesa, Calif.-based advisory firm with $95 million in client assets. Mercer Advisors is the parent company of Mercer...

Aspiriant picks up $850M Silicon Valley RIA

December 12, 2016

The growth continues for Aspiriant, as the Los Angeles-based advisory firm is about to lock up its third RIA transaction in a year, with at least two more deals slated in coming months. In the latest deal, which is expected to close Jan. 31,...

Adviser relief follows judge's injunction of overtime pay rule

November 23, 2016

Tuesday's injunction against the Labor Department's rule to pay overtime to more than four million lower-salaried workers has relieved some in the financial advice industry. “We have had a number of concerns with the rule and its impact on...

Presidential election sparks awareness of gender issues

November 21, 2016

As we all know, the presidential election of 2016 was the first time a female appeared on the ballot as a major-party candidate. After a particularly hard-fought campaign, Hillary Clinton said in her concession speech, “I know we still haven't...

Ask the Ethicist: How to make a U-turn after retirement

November 21, 2016

This month's question concerns a woman who worked for many years in wealth management before retiring to an hourly consulting practice. Now she's thinking of returning to the workforce at a registered investment adviser firm. Q: I worked for...

Leadership insights from former President George W. Bush

November 3, 2016

I was fortunate to be invited to have dinner and witness a conversation with the 43rd President, George W. Bush, exactly one week before the election. Given my own sense of frustration with the candidates thrust upon us this year, it was an...

Advisory firms have grown larger than ever, leading to a decrease in professional productivity

October 26, 2016

For the second year in a row, professional productivity has declined at the typical advisory firm: it is down 21% from a 2013 high, and lower than it was in 2011. In the 2016 InvestmentNews Financial Performance Study, conducted in partnership...

Advisory firms growing with tech, but not without troubles and false starts

October 19, 2016

Financial advice firms are using technology more than ever to improve their profitability and grow. But in practice, tech doesn't always deliver exactly as planned, advisers said. Client portals, where advisers share financial reports and use...

Nobel prize winners shine light on best compensation practices

October 11, 2016

Two American professors known partly for showing the value of performance-based compensation practices won the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences on Monday. Bengt Holmstrom, a Harvard University professor, and Oliver Hart, a professor at the...

How big wealth management firms should treat top-performing advisers to keep them happy

October 10, 2016

In past columns, I have been critical of the big firms' inability to treat their best performers differently. I have hypothesized that the primary reason why advisers depart the employee model of the big firms to go independent is not financial...

Advisers shutter offices to brace for Hurricane Matthew's punch

October 6, 2016

As Hurricane Matthew forces evacuations in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, financial advisers in the Southeast are preparing to test out continuity plans the Securities and Exchange Commission has been pressing them to enhance in recent...

Self-funding employee health care pays off for some small businesses

October 5, 2016

The rising price of health-care premiums has more companies paying for their employees' medical expenses themselves rather than buying traditional health plans from insurers. Advisers should be aware of what the option entails for their small-business-owner...

Irrational business decisions advisers don't even know they're making

August 26, 2016

We've all witnessed the rise of behavioral finance, which uses psychological theories to provide explanations for why people make irrational financial decisions. It's intriguing to try to understand just why clients sometimes make poor financial...

Adviser's Consultant: Building diversity at firms makes business sense

August 24, 2016

Marguerita Cheng said for the bulk of her clients, she is the first adviser they've ever seen. About half of the families that Blue Ocean Global Wealth serves are ethnically diverse, and she's most confident that these clients won't be walking...

What interns do and should not do for advisory firms

August 18, 2016

Many financial advisory firms have said goodbye to their summer interns in recent days and some have learned a few secrets over the years to make the process of hiring, employing and keeping in touch with these pre-professionals a rewarding...

5 ways elite RIA firms set themselves apart from the competition

August 4, 2016

Last year a majority of advisory firms saw their revenue levels stall, but a group of registered investment advisers increased their revenue by 23%, according to the new 2016 Elite RIA Study, produced by InvestmentNews Research and BlackRock....

DOL overtime rule could raise employment costs for support staff

July 27, 2016

A Labor Department regulation that will go into effect later this year could increase employment costs for some financial advice firms, possibly forcing them to limit excess employee hours or curtail hiring plans. Under the DOL regulation, any...

Why aren't there more women fund managers?

July 24, 2016

If you're looking for comforting news about the great strides women have made breaking into investment management, you won't find it here. Men still overwhelmingly dominate the field. But the inroads that women have made in money market funds...

How advisers can use technology to avoid burnout

July 19, 2016

Technology has a way of making us work harder. We're reachable 24 hours a day and can handle multiple projects at a time. Yet, our human brains and bodies are not made to run nonstop at full speed. I've learned a few tricks for creatively using...

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