BRACE FOR IMPACT
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In my October 2010 article, I promised you a spreadsheet to help evaluate client goodness. This spreadsheet tells you where to start in your quest to transition to fees. Given the SEC's mandate to "harmonize" the Registered Rep standard of suitability, and the RIA fiduciary standard, you need to get started with the transition. But since competition for clients will likely heat up, you need to pay close attention to a retention strategy.
If you have not read my September 2010 Research Magazine article, you need to understand the enormity of changes coming to the financial services industry. Click on the link and read it now. Pending financial services reforms could drastically alter the world as we know it. Print it, send it to your iPad® or read it online. It lays out the problem you, and every other financial advisor, will face in the next two years. (To get this spreadsheet in MS Excel 2003, click here).
If you are not now fee-based, you have two years. "Transition to Fee-Based Advisor" is a white paper that lays out a strategy to complete the transition without participating in the hated income reduction plan, or what one writer called an "income trough." This "trough" is the biggest barrier to making the transition. This white paper shows how to dodge that bullet. Set a goal to transition to a fee-based advisor within two years.
Even if you are already 100% fee-based, you can be sure that competition will heat up as hundreds of thousands of Reps crowd into the fee-based marketplace. As their income comes down, they will go looking over your backyard fence at your clients. Please download and read Client Retention Strategy—Solid Gold: The Client Retention Formula.