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Managing a Practice

Managing a Practice covers the ways that advisors can profitably and successfully run their businesses. It includes practical topics like business systems, advisor fees and client services, as well as professional development and growth strategies. Also covered are overall industry trends and ethics and compliance, as well the various service providers and vendors that advisors partner with to build, grow and manage their practices.

Managing a Practice

Managing a Practice

By Fred Barstein11/5/2013 • 0 Comments

Hiring the wrong person can be time consuming and costly, and can hurt morale too. So what are the signs that you may be about to make a mistake? READ MORE

By Fred Barstein10/25/2013 • 0 Comments

As reported in Investment News, the days of large recruiting bonuses paid by wire houses may be over, as Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch have reported a slowdown in giving big recruiting bonuses. These bonuses escalated after the recession, creating what Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman calls an effective "tax on the industry." READ MORE

By Fred Barstein10/24/2013 • 8 Comments

While there are no proposals to ban commissions in the U.S., under the DOL’s proposed redefinition of fiduciary rule it will be harder for commissioned advisors to work on ERISA plans and IRAs. Other countries, including the Netherlands, the U.K. and India, have taken initiatives that eliminated commissions on some or all products. The result: fewer advisors and arguably less access to advice for many people, especially lower-income investors who need it most. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein10/24/2013 • 0 Comments

Speaking at the annual Financial Planner Association conference in Orlando this week, FPA president Michael Branham questioned recent actions by the CFP Board on the definition of fee-only advisor as well as their CE policies. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein10/23/2013 • 0 Comments

An industry expert speaking at the Financial Planning Association’s annual conference offered six reasons why an advisor should enter the DC market: READ MORE

By John Ortman10/16/2013 • 0 Comments

Among retirement plan advisors who serve the small-plan market, what are the best practices of successful advisors? Principal’s Tom Donnelly offers three, one of which he likens to a cephalopod mollusc of the order Octopoda, metaphorically speaking. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein10/16/2013 • 0 Comments

In a FINRA report released this week, the SRO warned members about potentially abusive sales practices and lack of oversight, with an emphasis on broker compensation. The report suggests using product-agnostic compensation models and capping fees paid by mutual funds and VAs. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein10/11/2013 • 0 Comments

More and more advisors who focus a significant percentage of their time on DC plans are joining teams to leverage scale, technology and brand. But what does a team have to do to be successful? In an InvestmentNews video, Pershing’s Mark Tibergien tackles the question of how a local firm can branch out and become a national concern. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein10/11/2013 • 1 Comments

Have you ever forgotten a password at the precisely the wrong time — like when you need to access a website or make a crucial payment? Do you still use “1111” as your password or rely on ones stored on your browser? If the answer is yes, or if you have been using the same password for years, you should read this article by Nicholas White of The Daily Dot about software programs that can help. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein10/1/2013 • 1 Comments

With an estimated 10,000 RIA firms and only 50 reported M&A deals, there’s a sense that something is wrong in a market that should see more consolidation. Fidelity gathered a group of investment bankers and acquirers with $200 billion of AUM to flesh out the issues. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein9/30/2013 • 0 Comments

Fallout over the way CFPs report their compensation on the CFP website continues, as two wire houses instructed their advisors not to use fee only. Both Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch ordered immediate action in a note sent to all reps. Morgan has 1,580 CFPs and Merrill has 1,560; the Wall Street Journal found that 181 Morgan and 125 Merrill reps had been listed as fee only. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein9/26/2013 • 1 Comments

There’s a huge controversy brewing in the world of fee-only planners in the wake of the CFP Board’s decision to reset compensation models for all planners on their website to “none provided.” An email sent to all CFP holders last week directed designees to reread the policy about fee-only standards and then select the appropriate compensation model. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein9/26/2013 • 0 Comments

An estimated 130 online financial advisory services have launched since the Great Recession — many in the last two years — but these firms are struggling to gain traction and achieve profitability. While they target the emerging wealthy market (investors with $50,000-$250,000), accounts tend to be smaller. And competition is driving prices down, with some predicting consolidation as early pioneers end up face down with arrows in their backs. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein9/25/2013 • 1 Comments

Commenting on what he calls the biggest inside joke that almost everyone has caught on to, advisor Alex Murguia officially pronounced the death of automatic “out-of-office” email responses. Here’s what people really think when they get your out-of-office response: READ MORE

By Fred Barstein9/23/2013 • 1 Comments

As previously reported on NAPA Net, FINRA approved a proposal requiring brokers to disclose recruitment compensation paid to them as an incentive to move to a new firm. The proposal will be submitted to the SEC for review and approval. READ MORE

By John Ortman9/23/2013 • 0 Comments

The Affordable Care Act (more commonly known as "Obamacare") includes an employee notice requirement with an Oct. 1 deadline, a recent ASPPA ASAP notes. According to Lawrence C. Starr, CPC, QPFC, who authored the alert, most businesses with $500,000 or more in annual dollar volume of sales or receipts are required to provide this notice. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein9/19/2013 • 0 Comments

This week’s first annual NAPA DC Fly-in Forum was a seminal event in the evolution of the plan advisor profession — the latest in a series of initiatives by ASPPA and NAPA to help the profession move to the next level. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein9/16/2013 • 0 Comments

This week, FINRA’s board will take up the issue of whether advisors will be required to report bonuses received when switching broker dealers. The issue had been on the agenda for their July board meeting, but scheduling delayed its consideration. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein9/11/2013 • 0 Comments

When is the best time for a financial advisor to retire? According to FP Transitions, which has valued 1,000 firms with an average value of $1.4 -$1.5 million, the best age is 59, when advisors are not working so hard. Peak growth for advisors comes between the ages of 45 and 55, so advisors should start considering their exit strategy at age 50. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein8/26/2013 • 2 Comments

Most parents are concerned about saving for their kids’ college education, as costs continue to rise with no end in sight. Companies can offer a Section 529 college savings plan that acts much like a 401(k) plan, including automatic pretax payroll deductions. For plans with more than 200 employees, it’s common for the plan to be free. READ MORE

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