What's going on in the financial services industry that can impact your business?
1) Social Media and Value-Added Content - American Century recently conducted its seventh annual social media study. Nearly half of the financial advisors who responded indicated that a social media connection added to at least some new business in 2016, with nearly 70% reporting that they used LinkedIn or Facebook.
In addition, according to the same study, advisors now, more than ever, are seeking value-added educational pieces from asset managers. Advisors cited LinkedIn as the favored delivery mechanism from asset managers.
The message for advisors is if you don't utilize social media yet - think hard about starting. There are plenty of asset managers out there willing to help guide you. And for asset managers, the message is to continue to provide value-added content and hands-on assistance to advisors.
2) Rep-as-PM Performance Draws Scrutiny - As Rep-as-PM programs gave grown - at rates greater than other fee-based programs - I have been skeptical. Are many of these FAs truly adding value to their clients, or do they merely desire a larger share of the fee for themselves?
The possible adoption of the new Fiduciary Rule will only add more scrutiny, and I suspect that we will see firms becoming more stringent on who they allow to participate in such programs. Two new studies fuel the need for caution.
First, a recent study by Envestnet, which compared almost 345,000 accounts over a three-year period, found that Rep-as-PM portfolios had twice the performance volatility (beta) as portfolios from professional managers.
Second, a report from Cerulli Associates found that advisor-managed portfolios lag those managed by a home office, returning a cumulative 33.6% over a four-year period versus 36.7% for home office packaged portfolios.
Regardless of where we land with the Fiduciary Rule, sponsor firms and FAs need to be careful about how they participate in Rep-as-PM programs moving forward. Perhaps concentrating more on business development and client service, and leaving the asset management to others, is a better way to grow your business. Just a thought.