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Helping clients manage volatility for the long run

August 12, 2019

Since last September, we've seen the S&P 500 Index reach an all-time high, weather a 20% drop, gain it all back and keep on climbing. Financial professionals are accustomed to these ups and downs, but to an investor saving for retirement, a...

Self-reliance is essential, but it could be your downfall

July 23, 2019

I started out as a commission-based salesperson at a national financial services firm. It was the best bad thing that ever happened to me. (I'll explain why in a moment.) That firm sold me (and 20 others) on the money I could make and provided...

Winning in a crowded field

May 28, 2019

On May 16, we announced the sale of United Capital to Goldman Sachs. While I will one day write about what we learned in the process, and what we have in store for the future, it's prudent to wait until we have gone through the client consent...

If you aren't asking tough questions, you aren't doing your job

July 22, 2019

As fiduciaries, it's our job to push clients to think about uncomfortable aspects of their lives. To name a few: discussions around retirement and death, providing feedback on spending, estate planning, gifting to family members — or saying...

Is your firm using the technology you need to succeed?

August 2, 2019

Think about the technology your firm currently uses. Does it satisfy your client reporting needs? Is client reporting an easy task, or is it frustrating, taking up more time and resources than it is worth? Within the last decade, Technology...

Your people are the secret ingredient for great tech. Don't leave them behind

July 11, 2019

Running in the 2018 Boston Marathon was an incredible experience for me, not only as a personal accomplishment, but as an opportunity to run with a mentor and friend to support a great cause in the Foundation for Financial Planning. But while...

When clients survive a mass shooting

July 9, 2019

A spray of bullets. A chorus of screams. Blaring sirens. Another mass shooting. This scenario is becoming all too familiar, with gunmen taking lives in workplaces, churches, and schools across the country. Increasingly, advisers have clients...

Vendors need to be held to a higher standard on privacy

July 25, 2019

Not that long ago, keeping clients' data secure was easy. It merely required a lock and key. Now, with third-party providers, remote access and the use of internet platforms, keeping clients' personally identifiable information private is much...

Arming clients with the tools to teach kids about finances

April 5, 2019

Advisers have a unique opportunity to make a difference in the way our country approaches the development of financial literacy. On the surface, endeavoring to help young people (Ages 6-20) develop a basic understanding of money concepts does...

When Envestnet and Apple pivoted

April 5, 2019

Last month Envestnet announced the purchase of MoneyGuide for half a billion dollars. A few days later, Apple announced the launch of Apple TV Plus. These two seemingly unrelated events show how established businesses are evolving in this new...

Is your office space keeping up with the times?

March 29, 2019

When you think of the traditional office space, perhaps a formal conference room and individual cubicles for staff come to mind. But just as in other areas of our industry, times are a changin' when it comes to space planning. As millennial...

3 lessons advisers can learn from the Midwest flooding

March 27, 2019

March has been a month of madness, but not because of my bracket. This madness came in the form of a historic natural disaster, perhaps the worst of its kind ever to hit the state of Nebraska. And while Nebraska may be seen as a "flyover state,"...

Everyone knows the wholesaling model is flawed. Here's what to do about it

June 19, 2019

The financial adviser business model has evolved numerous times over the past 40-plus years. In the 1970s and '80s, for instance, mutual fund commissions were as high as 8%. When those rates eventually came down, advisers adjusted. More recently,...

Ritholtz Wealth launches Betterment-powered robo advice platform

July 15, 2019

Ritholtz Wealth Management is relaunching its digital advice product, Liftoff, using Betterment for Advisors. For Betterment, which typically keeps details about its for-advisers product close to the vest, it's a big get — if not in terms...

Infusing your company with a disruptive mentality

March 4, 2019

In a previous article, I discussed the pivotal role that continuing disruption plays in sustained company success. Now I'll delve deeper into how you can infuse your company with a disruptive mentality. Change is the only constant in business,...

The power of culture

June 6, 2019

Culture — it's that squishy, fuzzy thing we hear about. It's hard to define, but we know it when we feel it. Generally, an office's culture is pretty evident within minutes of entering the space. But is yours happening by accident or are you...

To convert or not to convert portfolio reporting technology

July 10, 2019

One of the more important business decisions underpinning a successful advisory practice is the selection of a portfolio reporting platform. If the decision isn't properly researched, a platform that doesn't meet expectations could prove to...

Client longevity is advisers' top retirement planning concern

July 8, 2019

Individuals who pay for financial advice generally are feeling positive about their ability to prepare for their post-working days. Nearly all (87%) feel "knowledgeable and educated when it comes to planning for retirement," and most (80%) believe...

Lessons learned from 21 deals

June 3, 2019

While I didn't start out as a deal-maker in wealth management, I have found it to be a dynamic, fast-paced, exciting and fulfilling role in my nearly 20-year career as an executive at Mercer Advisors, currently a $15 billion independent registered...

The innovation challenge: What's holding you back?

January 28, 2019

We all know that we are living in one of the most disruptive times in history. Which also means that this is a dream time for innovation and reinvention. Never has there been a more rewarding period for businesses in any industry to reimagine...

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