Enjoy the current installment of "weekend reading for financial planners" - this week's edition kicks off with a look at TD Ameritrade's efforts to expand its Amerivest managed account into a full-fledged "hybrid" advisor solution (robo-technology plus TD Ameritrade retail branch advisors), raising the question of whether, given that Amerivest already has over $11B of AUM, it may become the largest "robo" solution by 2016. Also in the news this week was a discussion of how Schwab and Fidelity have been 'passing through' a portion of the shareholder service fees of certain no-transaction-fee mutual funds to large RIAs on their platforms, and whether doing so creates untenable conflicts of interest for RIAs that will end out being compensated more for using those funds in client portfolios over any others.
From there, we have several practice management articles this week, from a discussion of how to improve client review meetings by systematically implementing a pre-meeting survey to ensure the meeting is focused on what clients want to talk about the most, to the importance of creating standard processes in an advisory firm to cut down on potential advice mistakes, along with an article on how to get more insight from the results of your client surveys by discussing the responses with your client advisory board, and a look at some common 'myths' in web-based marketing for advisors and how to overcome them.
There are also a few more technical-competency articles this week, from a look at whether today's lifetime annuity products should be replaced with a "tontine" structure that was popular hundreds of years ago, to the portfolio design mistakes that some advisors may unwittingly be making (e.g., having clients hold a mortgage paying 4% interest while keeping a portfolio allocation in bonds paying only 2%!), to whether Deferred Income Annuities should have a role not just in planning for extended retirement longevity but also as a pre-retirement vehicle.
We wrap up with three interesting articles: the first is a discussion from industry commentator about why he thinks "the AUM fee is toast" and that advisors will increasingly migrate towards retainer-style fee structures; the second is a retrospective look at the CFP Board as it celebrates its 30th anniversary as an organization managing the CFP marks since it was spun off from the College for Financial Planning in 1985; and the last is a great summary article of "37 ways to upgrade your practice" that has a number of tweaks you could take and implement now in your advisory firm during the slower summer months.
Enjoy the reading, and happy Fourth of July!