Enjoy the current installment of “weekend reading for financial planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the industry news that TD Ameritrade’s RIA custody business is continuing with business as usual despite the looming Schwab merger, in what appears to be a combination of both a legal obligation to do so until the deal is finalizing… and a growing possibility (which markets are now handicapping at 30%) that the Department Of Justice may intervene and prevent at least the RIA portion of the merger from going through (e.g., by requiring the RIA business to be spun off if the TD Ameritrade retail business is acquired).
In the meantime, though, the advisor industry is also still adjusting to the potential of the merger, from firms preparing for the possibility that TD Ameritrade’s VEO platform may not survive the merger if it does go through (necessitating a substantial restructuring of advisor technology for many firms), and musings about whether the loss of TD Ameritrade’s open architecture platform may hinder the emergence of new advisor technology solutions (that in the past decade often built first to TD Ameritrade to go to market) or simply spawn a competing platform to become more open architecture to fill the void and take on VEO’s open-architecture mantle.
From there, we have several other articles of notable industry news this week, including an SEC Investor Alert that fraudsters are engaging in pump-and-dump schemes around the coronavirus (have you warned your clients?), Vanguard is making a somewhat-surprising-but-sort-of-not push into offering a private equity fund (but potentially only for institutions using Vanguard and consumers who engage a Vanguard Personal Advisor directly), and a prediction from Cerulli that the dam of advisor retirements is about to break with outright declines in advisor headcount in the coming years that could culminate in nearly 1/3rd of all today’s financial advisors retiring in the decade of the 2020s.
We also have a few articles on marketing, including a look at how firms that pay for online lead generation platforms are finding ways to make it work (based on their geography and by hiring business development associates), the challenges in finding and paying for the ‘right’ marketing software or service providers for financial advisors, and how Schwab is upping the ante on paying outright cash to attract new investor accounts (primarily to compete against other brokerage firms engaging in similar practices, but at the risk of catching financial advisors in the crossfire?).
We wrap up with three interesting articles, all around the theme of the (real) value of a financial advisor in the future: the first explores the ways that financial advisors can provide value beyond just highlighting their type of compensation; the second examines the lost art of being a better listener to help clients on their own journey; and the last explores the unique challenges that arise as financial advisors increasingly shift away from simply being “the experts” and instead try to become a Knowledgeable Guide to help clients feel heard, understood, and supported on their own journeys instead.
Enjoy the ‘light’ reading!