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Articles Published October 2010


Ben Marks: We had many clients ask us, once the market downturn took place, why we were still at UBS?

How a UBS skull session was complicit in showing this advisor the path to independence
The final straw: clients openly asked why he was still with a wirehouse

Friday 10.29.10
Andy Rachleff: Don’t stand for closed systems. No one in Silicon Valley would. Why should you?

You already know the 80/20 rule. Here's how you can apply it not only to your clients but your operations.
The trick this VC used when talking to entrepreneurs

Friday 10.29.10
Neesha Hathi: We know there are going to be disappointed clients and vendors.

Schwab chooses some giant software partners, apparently with big RIAs in mind
Experts say it chose well but advisors may have to wait for IMPACT 2011 for a demo of integration

Thursday 10.28.10
Bernie Clark: We will be bigger than the wirehouses.

Eavesdropping on IMPACT: Takeaways from Bernie Clark's first IMPACT appearance as leader; Hank Paulson explains #1 reason Lehman failed; the secrets of creating buzz
Schwab's event has a personal touch to soften over-stimulation for a signature admixture

Thursday 10.28.10
Elliot Weissbluth: There are so many disaffected brokers at these firms.

HighTower adds an existing RIA and two big UBS producers to a burgeoning Silicon Valley office
CEO Weissbluth says that his company's pipeline is 'massive'

Wednesday 10.27.10
Mellody Hobson:Was it normal to get a house without any paperwork?

Mellody Hobson and Liz Ann Sonders kicked off IMPACT on a bullish note
An already stoked crowd heard that stocks are headed up -- and that bonds and commodities may be teetering

Wednesday 10.27.10
Schwab IMPACT will have Boston crackling with competition for RIAs

6 things to know about Schwab Advisor Services on the eve of its IMPACT 2010 conference
Executives, technology, philosophies and the event itself will be scrutinized

Tuesday 10.26.10
Jennifer Hatch bought her firm from the ACLU.

Advisor spotlight: How a former JPMorgan bond saleswoman transformed an iconic advisory into a business
Christopher Street Financial faces increasing competition for gay and lesbian business from wirehouses

Tuesday 10.26.10
Mike Durbin: RIAs have come a long way.

Fidelity arms its RIAs for battle with white-glove brands
Pershing and Schwab are also angling for advisors game to bag some mega-clients

Monday 10.25.10
Chuck Bean: Essentially we tore up the old business plan and started anew.

Advisor Spotlight: How a big-time IBD rep ended up as a Schwab RIA
Chuck Bean sought better technology, more marketing room, more objectivity and a bigger payout

Monday 10.25.10
Marie Swift: Advisors are at risk if they don't show their clients how much they are cared for.

Eavesdropping on a Cetera company's elite conference
What have you done for me lately: a strategy to head off DIY clients

Monday 10.25.10
Phyllis Borzi: If it gets rid of schlocky advice, that’s okay with me.

Proposed DOL regs expose more advisors to fiduciary liability
Language of rules amounts to better ammo for lawyers

Friday 10.22.10
The real issue for investors and their financial advisors is not to worry if and when rates will rise, but what are they going to do now that the era of total return bond investing is over?

Why the only thing bigger than the bond bubble is the bubble of bond doom-sayers
Lost in the fear-mongering: It's not fixed income but the way that it's held that can lead to problems

Friday 10.22.10
Mike Henkel: We looked at [traditional hedge funds and LPs] and said: It just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Genworth, SEI and Envestnet make alternative investments moves amid 'huge interest'
The big TAMPs are reacting to advisor demands as hedge fund assets swell to near record levels

Thursday 10.21.10
Ric Edelman: I needed to give my staff a breather.

Edelman expansion slows; back office 'overwhelmed'
$5.5 billion RIA pours money into top-line Microsoft CRM

Thursday 10.21.10
Eric Higginbotham explained that his company has many technological objectives but the iPad app won priority status.

Black Diamond releases BlueSky Mobile for the iPad
Leaving nothing to chance, the Florida up-and-comer is including the Apple tablets in the deal

Wednesday 10.20.10
Wealthfront rang the NASDAQ bell today at a marketing event. Co-founder Dan Carroll said he hopes it's not the last time the venture-backed company rings the bell.

Why big RIAs are taking a risk on Wealthfront
KaChing changes its name, gains 10-fold jump in assets and intrigues the industry with its strategy to reach mass affluent

Tuesday 10.19.10
Fidelity will pelt arriving Schwab advisors with its own message at every turn in Boston. This one reads: Welcome to Boston, where independence began.

As Schwab poises for massive invasion of Boston, Fidelity lays in wait
The San Francisco custodian expects near-record IMPACT crowds but Fidelity is monopolizing billboards to impress them

Tuesday 10.19.10
Rob Isbitts: If stocks and other growth investing styles rally hard again, those with bond-laden portfolios will get jealous, causing the advisor to scramble to “catch up.”

Five steps to get your clients out of bonds and into alternative, low-volatility investments
What will prompt the next emotional reaction from investors? Falling bond rates and rising stocks.

Tuesday 10.19.10
Nevin and Brooke with the $660 purchase.

RIABiz makes its first major capital investment -- an iPad
RIA-related iPad app reviews to come

Tuesday 10.19.10
Andrew Malloy: We’ve done the heavy lifting.

Luminous Capital makes partners of on-the-loose former Shepherd Kaplan wealth managers
Adding Malloy and Conte was not part of the big LA-based RIA's carefully scripted plans

Monday 10.18.10
AllSquare's Doug Bauer: Most of our business has been gravitating to fee-based.

Spire wins another hybrid with an eye on expansion
Twelve new firms join the Broker Protocol

Monday 10.18.10
Lou Harvey: All it will take is for one employee in any company to rise a question about fees. This is going to be a tsunami.

Why the DOL's massive new 401(k) disclosure requirements are a 'very, very big deal'
RIA competitors (i.e. brokers) face daunting challenge of explaining complex revenue-sharing arrangements

Friday 10.15.10
Ric Edelman: Warren Buffett says an investor might have 11 truly good ideas in a lifetime. Jim Cramer has three every night.

What Ric Edelman is like live on stage
The Barron's #1 addresses the feelings first and the particulars last

Friday 10.15.10
Alan Rexius [left], King Martin [center] and Greg Erwin [right] took nearly three years from first exploring a breakaway to its final execution.

Schwab and Fidelity experience seasonal slowing of breakaway activity
The good news is that big wirehouse brokers and IBD reps keep nibbling

Thursday 10.14.10
Ed O'Brien: The natural progression is to improve the open platform in two ways; one is making the integration we have more robust...and two is adding more tools and selection.

Technology review: Fidelity's WealthCentral is solid and smart but still has seams
Getting people to switch is complicated because it means getting a commitment and collecting big fees

Thursday 10.14.10
Edward Orazem says that Fidelity grew single family office assets 54% by killing banks on cost, capital markets services and alternative investments technology.

Fidelity is winning family office assets at a terrific rate
Ex-Citi executive is putting the people and technology in place to lure assets from slow-footed banks

Wednesday 10.13.10
Mark Matson: You have to communicate with clients every single day. The technology of social media affords you the ability to do that.

Advisor Spotlight: Mark Matson on his $2.7 billion investment coaching business
The flamboyant personality has sold 400 advisors on his approach, which includes coaching and a passive investment strategy

Wednesday 10.13.10
Matt Judge: We want increased share of wallet.

Relentless TD Ameritrade antes up a killer ETF platform
The number three custodian of RIA assets is finding ways to lead

Tuesday 10.12.10
Ready to blog after uploading podcasts: Chris Hall (left) coaches students Kimberly Curtis, CFP, and Gary Klaben, ChFC, at FPA pre-conference Web 2.0 Boot Camp.

Eavesdropping on the FPA conference: a speech about scared investors resonates; and an embittered advisor speaks up
Plus, a top expert offers the next level of advice on social media

Tuesday 10.12.10
David Canter: One solution for broker-dealers looking to provide financial planning services in a fiduciary world: Fidelity's WealthCentral platform.

How the FPA's national conference is nudging large firms toward fiduciary care
Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, MetLife and others come as leopards looking to change their spots

Monday 10.11.10
Les Abromovitz: The SEC’s observation was surprising.

So you're an RIA. Be careful about calling yourself one, says the SEC
Beware of using the term as focal point for marketing; some states may have competing regulations

Monday 10.11.10
Bob Oros: I walked away saying: I don’t understand why they don’t have $100 billion [of assets in custody].

How Bob Oros landed at Trust Company of America
The former Schwab sales star is leaving pre-IPO LPL for the green pastures at the Denver-based fast-riser

Friday 10.8.10
Bruce Curwood: Risk management is the cornerstone of investing.

First, own all the risk
Return is largely outside your control. Risk is not. A detailed approach to reorienting your fiduciary thought processes.

Friday 10.8.10
This time around, Oliver Stone uses Gordon Gekko to go soft on Wall Street.

What Gordon Gekko has to say to advisors
Oliver's Stone's latest movie continues the thread of denial of the rot at the heart of Wall Street

Thursday 10.7.10
Adam Birenbaum: We’re going to build and scale so we can truly compete against the largest of the wirehouses

Giant DFA customer puts young CEO in charge to execute ambitious national plan
Adam Birenbaum makes $100 billion of AUM a goal for Buckingham Family of Financial Services

Wednesday 10.6.10
Marv Tuttle: Some of our members haven't liked our positions.

The industry's largest association has plenty at stake at its annual conference this weekend
After a trying two years in which it lost a chunk of its membership and angered others with unpopular stands, FPA is reminding advisors of its benefits

Wednesday 10.6.10
Bernie Clark spends more time listening than talking.

After lunch with Bernie Clark, the future of RIAs seems to have no limit
Schwab's head of advisor services is looking to China and the wirehouses for the business model's next frontiers

Tuesday 10.5.10
John Burke: It’s pretty difficult because it’s getting into the advice business

Some Scottrade RIAs think the company's giant branch network is ripe for referrals
It would be a culture shift but Brian Davis leaves the door open

Tuesday 10.5.10
The Investment Adviser Association's annual report on the state of the industry reinforces the idea that the big-firm model is winning out over the small-firm model.

Three signs RIA firms are adapting to the brave new world
Looking for change with the help of the IAA's annual report: service providers are gearing up, AUM is rising and the big firms are winning

Tuesday 10.5.10
Brian Davis: Business development is a passion of mine.

Adding to the list of RIA custodians headed by execs with Schwab schooling, Scottrade promotes Brian Davis
After a wait, a spot vacated by Doug Talir gets filled by his former second in command

Monday 10.4.10
Mark Stys: The SEC report is a first step. But there have been no actions yet taken that would alleviate the problems encountered on May 6th; the only action has been the institution of circuit breakers on large price drops.

(An updated article) How leery RIAs should be of a flash crash and how much the SEC's new report advances our understanding
Circuit breakers are a band-aid for a problem in search of a liquidity solution

Monday 10.4.10
Richard Hart: We think it’s a really big deal.

(Updated) Fidelity elevates hybrid offering by giving RIA technology to thousands of IBD reps
WealthCentral lures breakaways to FIWS and it may also work for National Financial

Friday 10.1.10
Pat Huddleston: If the public can see how a broker’s conduct translated into a decision from a judge or jury, other brokers can conform their conduct to make future violations less likely.

Shame has a role to play in ending reckless conduct by stockbrokers
A former SEC enforcer makes the case against arbitration and for transparency

Friday 10.1.10

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