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Articles Published December 2010


Paul Reilly: This acquisition reflects Raymond James’ growth strategy as we expand our already significant capital markets reach while adding to our strong private client presence in some key markets.

Raymond James adds 20 advisors, and their $1.9B of assets, as part of investment banking purchase
The Florida broker-dealer sees promise bringing Howe Barnes Hoefer & Arnett clients onto its wealth management platform

Thursday 12.30.10
Elizabeth MacBride: Sometimes, we even get to hear the end of the story: an idea that has leaped from the online world to spur action.

Ideas born in the advisory world that flew far in 2010
How one conversation influenced NYC economic policy

Thursday 12.30.10
Mark Hurley touched a nerve in 2010 by questioning the enterprise value of RIA practices.

The next 20 top stories and what they say about where the RIA business is headed
Big companies, big innovators, exclusive conferences and the 401(k) market riveted advisor attention

Wednesday 12.29.10
Dan Goldie (on left): This is why we did all the work. (Gordon Murray is seated on the right.)

Two DFA advisors win big book contract after 'Dying banker' article in NYTimes
Success continues to come, rapid-fire, and Dan Goldie gets help in his practice

Tuesday 12.28.10
RIAs happily got to the nuts and bolts issues of building their practices and a better industry in 2010

The top 20 RIABiz articles in 2010 and why they were so important to readers
Schwab, Fidelity, DFA, LPL, Envestnet and the 401(k) market dominated the headlines this year

Monday 12.27.10
My RIABiz office for the holiday season is right in this Portland, Maine district where retail sales are rebounding

RIABiz wishes you a relaxing holiday to rest up for an exciting New Year
It's slushy weather now but skies are expected to clear

Friday 12.24.10
Frederick Van Den Abbeel: We did benefit from Fidelity’s decision and it also introduced us to other Fidelity RIA firms which were not affected -- through referrals.

The emerging asset custodians rake in small RIAs
Demand comes from IBD reps, start-ups, breakaways and refugees from the big three custodians -- including a few advisors seeking to avoid a new Fidelity fee

Thursday 12.23.10
Ron Rhoades' crystal ball extends to 2025 when Americans finally say 'uncle' to another 15 years of having brokers' interests go first.

Why a swing-and-miss on fiduciary standards will haunt us for decades
An ounce of good sense now could save the U.S. economy a pound of unnecessary pain downstream

Thursday 12.23.10
Les Abromovitz: Recently, one RIA firm that I work with claimed to have created hundreds of unique solutions. Those kinds of claims invite a securities examiner to ask for proof that the firm’s solutions are truly out of the ordinary.

The marketing naughty and nice list
Catchwords and strategies likely to draw regulators' ire -- and others that pass anyone's test

Thursday 12.23.10
Vivian Groman: Financial advisors are in a unique position to help clients through a divorce. The holidays offer an opportunity to show your clients that you care...

Why relying too heavily on a divorce attorney can be a bad financial planning move by clients
Counsel your clients to develop a full network of professionals whose advice they can tap as needed.

Wednesday 12.22.10
Skip Schweiss: RIAs are at full throttle, increasing spending on staffing, professional development and technology enhancements.

The RIA consensus heading into 2011: hire more and invest in more infrastructure
TD Ameritrade survey shows advisors have big concerns over regulatory changes

Tuesday 12.21.10
Ron Rhoades crafted this response to two advisors' question about turning RIA

One-Man Think Tank: Yes, advisors, there is a way to cope with fiduciary liability
Ron Rhoades recipe includes one surprising ingredient

Tuesday 12.21.10
Charles Goldman: I’m still hungry to do more stuff.

Charles Goldman is seeking his game after tumult and a year of decompression
The former head of Schwab's and Fidelity's RIA units may land in an entrepreneurial venture

Monday 12.20.10
Melanie Senter Lubin: Advisors should get their ADV form ready to filed by March 31 and also make sure they know which states they’re going to need to file with.

Wondering whether to register with the states or the SEC? It's a moving target.
New York advisors still left to wonder who has power over them

Monday 12.20.10
Bernie Clark: An advisor coming to Schwab with alternative assets to custody needs to be able to provide some transparency.

Schwab leads effort to create industrywide solution for alternative assets
The San Francisco custodial giant is now working to recruit other members to DTCC innovation

Friday 12.17.10
Binney Wietlisbach: People here know if they introduce me as the boss’s daughter they will be in big, big trouble, because it really undermines your credibility.

Advisor spotlight: Haverford's president hits the Barron's list with the 'most unloved' strategy
Binney Wietlisbach wanted to be successful on her merits, not genetics. But the family business sucked her in.

Friday 12.17.10
Suresh Kumar may be the quiet force behind his company's Citigroup win as he puts finishing touches on NetX360, Pershing's fee and transactional platform

Pershing wins Citigroup account and will support its RIA referral network
The win is 'huge' and affirming of NetX360 because the account is big, branded and exclusive, analysts say

Thursday 12.16.10
Steven Huxley: Whether or not it is possible to profit from this seasonality has been and will likely continue to be a debated question. Active managers who believe in market timing no doubt try to build seasonal factors into their models.

Should you Christmas-shop the market? It turns out there's a seasonality to finance, too
The last three months of the year historically bring the biggest market gains, but volatility remains high

Thursday 12.16.10
Adam Antonaides: It’s a compentency that broker-dealers are going to have to deliver.

First Allied, LPL aim to sell customized 401(k) plans for the small business market
Adam Antoniades sees 'giant asset-gathering mechanism' building from investments in ERISA talent

Wednesday 12.15.10
Frank Braddock: I said we needed a robust trading platform and the best research. Look, losing the smarts of MSSB would hurt.

A Morgan Stanley Smith Barney breakaway stepped off the wirehouse carousel to keep in touch with his clients
A former radio star, Frank Braddock prides himself on being able to get to know people within the intimate orbit of money

Wednesday 12.15.10
The buzz at the TD Ameritrade booth was that Tony Blair, Britain's former prime minister, is schedule to speak at TD's annual conference to be held in San Diego.

Eavesdropping on the Women Advisors Forum: Rainmakers share their secrets. Hint: They revolve around finding a niche
Women at the top of the profession have learned to give each other the look: "Like ‘I’ve got your back, sister.’”

Tuesday 12.14.10
Shirl Penney: We wanted [the company] built to last rather than built to flip.

What exactly is Dynasty Financial Partners and why is the Smith Barney execs' startup gaining so much attention?
Some combination of a bold business model, powerful backers and good PR -- lawsuit aside -- made for a good break out of the gate

Monday 12.13.10
Fred St Laurent: As a small business owner, how many mistakes can you afford to make?

The hidden dangers of hiring a laid-off Merrill broker
Who you bring on board says volumes about your firm's brand

Monday 12.13.10
Bank of America is trying to stop a giant private banker from waltzing away with $5.9 billion.

Bank of America throws a legal wrench at big wealth management start-up
U.S. Trust breakaway team headed by Mike Brown says it followed Protocol as it seeks quick transfer of $5.9 billion of assets

Friday 12.10.10
SEC headquarters has seen plenty of traffic lately, as companies and lobbying groups send execs aiming to influence a pending report on advisor oversight.

Most RIAs prefer to pay money for SEC exams now than pay in blood later under an SRO
TD Ameritrade survey comes as resistance to FINRA empowerment wells up from wide array of organizatioms

Friday 12.10.10
Sarah Libbey: Foundations can cost four times as much and offer fewer tax benefits than a donor-advised fund.

Fidelity Charitable courts advisor business -- and competes with Schwab -- by making alternative assets OK in its donor-advised fund
The move comes after Schwab enjoys success allowing advisors to use hedge funds and private equity

Friday 12.10.10
Bill Miller and Liz Ann Sonders said European debt and growing pains in China will drive money into U.S. equities.

Bill Miller: U.S. stocks will go 15% higher in 2011 thanks partly to tax cuts and cash-fat banks
Thomson Reuters uses advisor conference to offer a glimpse at a new wealth management system: Prism

Thursday 12.9.10
Tawn Jacobs: It’s so cool to do these Roth conversions where people don’t owe anything at all.

A tide of Roth conversions sweeps through the advisory business this month
The Bush tax-cut compromise is changing calculations, again

Thursday 12.9.10
Maggie Serravalli is stamping out bifurcation in her new role as Fidelity's service czar.

Fidelity unveils latest effort to make its advisor-servicing silos work as a single unit for hybrids
Pershing still believes it has an edge in seamless service because of NetX360

Wednesday 12.8.10
Rob Isbitts: Certain categories, such as Equity Precious Metals and China Region, now boast 5-year returns that make you wonder if they can maintain the pace.

Six things to know about the winners and losers in November’s market
Morningstar data: The market only eked out a gain, but some fund categories like natural resources stood out. Meanwhile, Europe stock funds got walloped.

Wednesday 12.8.10
Ron Rhoades: I have personally observed dozens of my clients, throughout my 25-year legal and then investment advisory career, inform me that their “financial advisor” took them on “for free” and “has never been paid a dime.”

One-Man Think Tank: The fiduciary standard may sink Wall Street's advisors-on-yachts. Should we care?
How much should a professional investment advisor make?

Tuesday 12.7.10
Another new Protocol member: Tony Fiorillo aims to close an acquisition that will quadruple the size of his firm in the first quarter.

Two IBDs aiming to add a combined 300-400 advisors in next several years join Broker Protocol
Geographic expansion on tap for one; the other now looks to wirehouses for recruiting

Tuesday 12.7.10
California may be the land of milk and honey, but its RIA registration bureaucracy is notoriously slow. Let us know what's happening in your state.

The biggest questions about the switch to state oversight: You tell us
RIABiz posts its first reader survey on an issue affecting a massive number of RIAs

Tuesday 12.7.10
Jonathan Heck: The Axys software might as well be an entirely separate business and it’s in run-off mode.

Advent Software is squandering its market leadership by keeping focus on Axys, according to a hedge fund analyst's report
The San Francisco-based leader is slow to react with new technology, web-based solutions, pricing, and ease of upgrades and integration, the report says

Monday 12.6.10
Barnaby Levin: When Morgan Stanley bought Smith Barney, their priority was to integrate platforms.

Inside the mind of one recent Morgan Stanley Smith Barney breakaway who landed at HighTower
Barnaby Levin chafed at how the wirehouse restricted the way he could serve a client list made up of top execs at start-ups

Monday 12.6.10
A boy's complaint about change prompted Elizabeth MacBride to look into the accounting at a volunteer event.

DC Current: What The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, a penny and a book fair have to say about women and money.
Plus, a couple of important stories RIAs may have missed over the holidays about the end-game of fiduciary lobbying

Friday 12.3.10
Mike Papedis: Elliot [Weissbluth CEO of HighTower] and I have been all over the country and getting sleep-deprived.

HighTower hires top recruiters from Schwab and LPL to help populate five new offices
Explosive West Coast growth -- including new offices in Portland, Scottsdale, LA and San Diego -- coupled with openings in Washington DC and Boston demands hiring more recruiters for more bandwidth

Friday 12.3.10
Marty Durbin: We said, ‘Never again do we want our motives called into question, and here’s how we’re going to do that.’

First Command's Marty Durbin retires -- well after his scandalized IBD went RIA to rehab its image
A third of of the Texas-based firm's reps had to leave but it now has $18 billion of AUM

Thursday 12.2.10
Keith McWilliams: We constantly manage with an active point of view; we always manage with an opinion, and we will get tactical.

Advisor spotlight: How a Schwab IMPACT award winner aims to hit $1 billion in 3-5 years
Mt. Eden aims for the complex clients: 'It's what we do'

Thursday 12.2.10
Ron Rhoades: From a review of the academic literature, it appears that relatively few investment strategies, as to the design of portfolios for individual clients, withstand academic scrutiny.

One-Man Think Tank: With even governments abandoning pension plans, investors are being tossed to the fee-hungry wolves
Disclosures don't deal with the psychological issues of risk aversion, overconfidence, and cognitive dissonance.

Thursday 12.2.10
Tom Orecchio: We wanted to get divorced before we got married.

Two big RIAs will merge to form an East Coast powerhouse
Back Bay Financial and Modera Wealth Management straddle Boston and New Jersey with assets nearing $1 billion

Wednesday 12.1.10
Surfer's Paradise: In a Gold Coast setting, FPA Australia embraces risky reforms.

Eavesdropping on FPA Australia: The group is booting big-companies and pushing advisors hard to earn their CFPs
A mirror on the other side of the planet doesn't always reflect well on the United States

Wednesday 12.1.10
Tim Welsh: As the sun sets and the temperature moves from comfortable to sublime, I start searching real estate listings and help wanted ads on the Blackberry.

What Tim Welsh had to do over Thanksgiving to break the FPA Australia story
Detours through the sunburned land of Oz

Wednesday 12.1.10

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