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Articles Published December 2011


Fred St. Laurent: The advisor will lose all of those bottom-end customers and Merrill will lose them too.

Merrill Lynch unveils changes to broker compensation
LPL, Schwab, TD, and RIAs are poised to reap a windfall as Bank of America says no thanks to the $250,000 set

Friday 12.30.11
Maria Marsala: Set yourself apart by not giving out your business cards like they're candy.

Top 10 ways financial advisers can 'market smarter' -- and enjoy it more in 2012
Developing a niche clientele will broaden, not narrow, your client base and can make your practice more profitable and pleasurable

Friday 12.30.11
Larry Sinsimer: This is a statistic that advisors have the power to change.

Three items of RIA interest
Fidelity study shows 70% of recent widows fire their advisors, Commonwealth and embattled PIEtech strike a deal and Modera Wealth brings aboard a senior planning specialist

Thursday 12.29.11
Brian Gendreau: Business investment has been surprisingly strong.

The state of the 2011 investment landscape and how it bodes for 2012
We're still nursing a long-term hangover from 2008 but there are some stealthy signs of recovery

Thursday 12.29.11
Ron Shevlin: Advisors are jumping on the bandwagon without a clear understanding of what they're doing there.

Early adopters of social media, RIAs are growing disenchanted with its power to drum up new business
Advisors must become better marketers before they can optimize social media, experts say

Thursday 12.29.11
Dina Hampton: Social media brought me good tidings in 2011.

An East Coast editor travels to the Bay Area to see the RIABiz team in action
In which your correspondent sees the day-to-day operations of RIABiz, not to mention a coyote

Thursday 12.29.11
Amy Danforth: The accounts being referred by advisors make up the majority of our business.

Fidelity and Schwab donor-advised funds boast banner years
An up-trend in the markets has fueled giving to the charitable vehicles -- and RIAs are reaping some of the benefits

Wednesday 12.28.11
Jonathan Stanley may not be the last to make the break from BoA-owned U.S. Trust, despite rigorous leaving provisions.

Braving 'garden leave' vagaries, Glenmede ramps up New York office by luring managing director from U.S. Trust
How much of the $1.5 billion in assets Jonathan Stanley oversaw will follow him to Glenmede is up in the air due to U.S. Trust's 60-day policy and other factors

Friday 12.23.11
Brooke Southall is reporting from Portland, Maine and the weather is better than this.

RIABiz counts down to Christmas in Maine, Oregon, Indiana, New York, Seattle and San Anselmo, CA
We're wrapping up our reviews of 2011, drinking egg nog and occupying an RIA

Friday 12.23.11
Mike DiGirolamo: We've been working on this for about two years.

How some RIAs are starting to end up with Raymond James as their custodian
Five are joining RJ from a Buffalo, NY B-D that is closing its doors after 80 years

Thursday 12.22.11
Marty Martin: Financial services professionals need to recognize how the fight-or-flight response impacts financial decisions and behaviors.

Can the behavior of RIA clients be changed? Yes ... but
A financial advisor may need neuroeconomics, clinical psychology, and behavioral finance to counter credit-care vacations and speculation

Thursday 12.22.11
Fred St. Laurent: A number of smart brokers are going to see this as one of the best deals on the street.

What one recruiter learned about Schwab's franchises after talking to Mary
Initially skeptical, on closer inspection and after talking to Schwab's first franchisee, our correspondent sees a real value proposition in the offing

Wednesday 12.21.11
Russel Kinnel: Sometimes there's just some key information that's not being considered in the star ratings.

Morningstar explains its new forward-looking rating system -- and tosses in some hot fund picks for good measure
The Chicago-based firm adds Gold, Silver, Bronze, Neutral and Negative ratings to its rear-view-facing constellation of stars

Wednesday 12.21.11
John Hyland: If you compare that to LPL itself, that's a more competitive comprehensive structure.

How LPL's biggest branch office added $3.5 billion this year by beating LPL itself with a key service
Private Advisor Group brought 22 compliance-minded advisors onboard this month alone to its RIA -- all with the blessing and help of its big IBD partner

Tuesday 12.20.11
Charles T. Hage: Wealth in hedge funds is being destroyed not in a single dramatic episode but with false measures disseminated by the industry.

The truth about hedge fund risk
Forget tail statistics -- the point is to focus on manager preparedness for surprises early on in the process of investor due diligence

Tuesday 12.20.11
Reed Colley: We continue to have our best quarters.

How Black Diamond is faring as a unit of Advent Software
Signs are very good though at a cost because of the sales structure

Monday 12.19.11
Steve Huxley: Gift cards would yield greater efficiency -- but are not nearly as much fun for the giver!

A chief investment strategist asks: Exactly how efficient is holiday gift shopping?
More efficient than buying lunch on the company account by Milton Friedman's reckoning -- but it's better not to think about it Tiffany's counter

Monday 12.19.11
Brian Hamburger: I think that number [from BCG] is a very conservative and kind number.

FINRA attacks Boston Consulting Group over SRO study
BCG sticks to its guns saying that the double-dip cost of SEC oversight makes any FINRA numbers moot

Friday 12.16.11
Jud Bergman: We've been working to bring opportunities to the fore.

With FundQuest off its plate, Envestnet is ready for a helping of new deals
The Chicago outsourcer has IPO cash, deal experience and an appetite for growth

Friday 12.16.11
David Tittsworth: Now we have the cost context that's been missing.

Creating an SRO would cost 100% more than SEC exam program, study shows
FINRA calls the findings 'wildly inflated'

Thursday 12.15.11
Eileen Canady: We're an invitation-only organization

How a B-D with its own RIA -- and a strict door policy -- went from $1 billion to $2 billion AUM in a year
JHS Capital Advisors screens advisors using an ethical litmus test and is looking to expand throughout the U.S.

Thursday 12.15.11
Kevin Tanner: Last week my chief compliance officer got a call from a multi-billion-dollar firm I’d never heard of.

One California RIA gathers about $40 million of assets monthly by tapping institutions
Founder and CIO of Saratoga Research & Investment Management concentrates on generating primo returns in the quest for $2 billion of AUM

Thursday 12.15.11
Charles Goldman has kept a low profile but maintains an intense interest in the RIA business

Charles Goldman will give a speech and Shareholders Service Group will make noise in the marketplace
Over 300 independent RIAs are expected in San Diego along with Spenser Segal, Lou Stanasolovich, Bob Veres and Norm Boone

Wednesday 12.14.11
Mary Murphy is carrying the Schwab brand on her shoulders.

And they're off! Schwab opens the doors to its first independent franchise ... in New Hampshire
Ex-wirehouse advisor and teacher Mary Murphy puts her toe in the water, perhaps leading the way

Wednesday 12.14.11
Erik Clarke: We went through quite a process with them.

Orion wins a $2-billion RIA account from Advent after two very long drives across the prairie
The second round-trip Omaha-to-Kansas City drive -- three years after the first -- led to the win of Mariner Wealth Advisors' private client assets

Tuesday 12.13.11
John Hyland: There are still six more months of egg shells.

Eighteen months after the fight of his life, an advisor raises more money for a Leukemia cure
John Hyland helped transition his firm from his hospital bed and is now training for an Ironman race

Tuesday 12.13.11
Robert Levitt: The problem was (that) the other guys couldn't handle us.

State Street's semi-secret success in the RIA custody business
The Boston-based giant typically services RIAs with $1 billion or more in assets - RIAs so big they have their own technology

Monday 12.12.11
Stan Ehrlich: Why does Schwab want to franchise its brand and potentially put itself in conflict with some of its own RIAs, such as me and many of my peers in NAPFA?

Are Schwab’s independent branches an opportunity or a threat to RIAs?
For RIAs with financially profitable practices that meet their lifestyle needs, I think owning a franchise would take them back a few steps.

Friday 12.9.11
Brian O'Regan: I love building things and I could do that both with Fidelity and Mariner.

Big Midwestern RIA hires away a Fidelity exec to realize its $50 billion plan
Mariner Wealth Advisors has reached a critical size where professional management is called for

Friday 12.9.11
Scott Curtis: Going over to the independent contractor model is kind of like going back to where I started.

With Dick Averitt retiring, Raymond James taps a star from within to take on LPL
Scott Curtis' background includes GE Financial, Raymond James and life as the son of a Dartmouth coach

Thursday 12.8.11
David Loeper: The '68 convertible wasn't [the biggest] priority for the client but when he was overfunded, we told him to go buy it. Then we found one for him.

Four on the floor: Items of interest to RIAs this week
Russell defines the RIA-client gap, the latest from Loeper's Wealthcare, Vanguard halves a fund fee and FOX announces a make-your-own-family-office seminar

Thursday 12.8.11
Patrick Gingras: In most cases we'd prefer not to be in an annuity, period. But you've got to work with the hand you've been dealt.

Jefferson National passes the $1 billion mark selling annuities to the advisors who 'hate' them most
The insurer's pared down, flat-fee product garners praise through gritted RIA teeth

Wednesday 12.7.11
Gil Baumgarten:  New clients say they would have never done business with me at any wirehouse. They think the system is rigged.

How a former Barron's top advisor was able to offload 350 clients and raise profits after leaving UBS
The wirehouse breakaway finds he also has a new social status and the ability to win $19-million clients

Wednesday 12.7.11
Is LPL chairman and CEO Mark Casady looking to add a jewel to the the mammoth B-D's crown?

LPL and Fortigent may be cooking up a merger, sources say
A strategic alliance could give LPL access to VIP RIAs and make Fortigent's highly customized offerings more profitable

Tuesday 12.6.11
Michael Ling: Well, you better know what you're doing ... the more you know, especially about economics, the better questions you can pose.

Advisor Tested: HiddenLevers roots out hidden connections between world events and client portfolios
Ten months in, we talk with two early adopters who are using the tool to check out what-if scenarios like 'Eurozone collapse' to create their what-if scenarios

Tuesday 12.6.11
Ed Swenson: This is the big bang.

Attack of the killer app: Dynasty targets the corner-office broker by combining Envestnet and Callan
Cheap research, big manager access and smooth technology may prove a magnetic force

Monday 12.5.11
Les Abromovitz: A word or two can make the difference between a compliant video and one that is potentially misleading.

Why RIA videos are especially fraught with regulatory pitfalls
The productions are expensive so check with the CCO before rolling the cameras

Monday 12.5.11
Dan Goldie: They already know the investment approach before we even talk.

Dan Goldie tells how his NY Times bestselling book has changed his practice, and how his co-author affected his life
The ex-tennis pro now has windfall prospects but still structures his RIA firm so he can spend all his time with clients

Friday 12.2.11
Chris Greene finds some ETFs he likes.

Picking through the ETF pile for some relatively safe high yields
Low-cost, income-oriented exchange based products may be the real story in next-gen ETFs

Friday 12.2.11
Schwab is moving Schwab Private Client completely out of its branches to a remote RIA.

Starting 2012 with a bang, Schwab will place its private client business under a new RIA
The Bay Area firm says it's making the move to avoid compliance clashes with ERISA; others say Schwab's riding the coattails of the RIA movement

Thursday 12.1.11
David Barry 'has a proven track record of strong leadership and the establishment of award-winning service and employee culture' says TCoA of its new chief executive.

Frank Maiorano is out at Trust Company of America and board member is named new CEO
The Colorado-based RIA custodian is putting a ski resort executive, David Barry, in the chief executive spot

Thursday 12.1.11



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