Displaying items by tag: RIAs
Fidelity is making a renewed push into model portfolios. After launching its first model portfolios in 2018, the firm has realized that RIAs and BDs want different types of models. RIAs use models to a great degree, but don’t tend to put a whole lot of assets in them. Fidelity realized it needed to optimize its approach. According to Suzanne Daly, Fidelity’s VP of model portfolio distribution, “RIA growth is really accelerating, and in a different manner [than IBDs] … [They are] looking to blend equity and fixed income models to build a more personalized fully asset allocated unified managed accounts (UMA) model”.
FINSUM: This makes a lot of sense. RIAs used to balk at the 25 bp fee for UMAs (which goes on top of the underlying management fees), but they have recently been coming around.
When Schwab announced its acquisition of TD Ameritrade in November 2019, there was a big and sustained surge of consternation among RIAs. TDA had long been known as specializing in RIAs, especially on the smaller end of the spectrum. Schwab had exactly the opposite reputation. That has left a general void for the smaller advisor looking to go independent for the first time. However, Goldman is apparently ramping up its new custody unit and clearing platform for RIAs. The move is still in its early stages, but the firm is hiring several executives to lead the charge and seems to be aiming to compete with Schwab, Fidelity, BNY Mellon etc.
FINSUM: Advisors may recall that Goldman acquired United Capital in 2019. United was an RIA consolidator, so this seems like a natural step for the bank. In our view, it would be great for the industry to have more competition on the custodial front.
The annuities business has long been “plagued’ by commissions. High fees paid out to sales people had a multi-part effect that hurt the industry’s reputation. On the one hand it made the products look less competitive, and on the other it led to some bad behaviors among brokers. However, as the industry has been changing, so have the fees structures, with commission-free annuities now an important fixture of the market.
FINSUM: DPL Financial specializes in providing commission free annuities from top providers so that RIAs can now sell annuities.
There is a very large, but little-discussed issue when going independent. When you move from being an employee advisor to an independent, your health insurance situation can be difficult. Not only is there the issue of keeping your health insurance intact immediately following your departure, but you also need to establish a significant health insurance plan with an insurer that can support your current and future employees. So it is good news to hear that the Financial Services Institute has launched a new program aimed at helping advisors with this transition. Not only will the FSI help with transitioning, but they can also provide cost savings.
FINSUM: This seems like a very good idea. This is an issue for everyone transitioning to owning a small business, not just advisors. Learn more here
Imagine you are an advisor at a big brand name broker-dealer or wirehouse. As much as you might gripe about your ever-changing compensation plan or the structures the firm puts in place, one thing you really like is that the logo on your business helps you win clients. Naturally then, losing that logo is a big challenge, both in terms of marketing, but also in terms you one’s own psychology. Therefore, when going independent it is critical to consider the marketing support you may receive. Many RIAs have next to none, or at least not much more than off-the-shelf options. However, some RIAs differentiate themselves through branding and marketing, such as leading investment concepts or customized marketing that empowers each advisor.
FINSUM: This might sound silly, but when considering whether to join an RIA google their name and check the Google News tab. Find key terms on their site (e.g. do they have any trademarked words?) and do the same. The firm’s marketing prowess will quickly become clear.