A prospective client may assume that a financial advisor, when giving advice, is acting in their best interest.

Fiduciary Standard for Financial Advisors

Indeed this prospective client may have heard the word FIDUCIARY Financial Advisor bandied about by talking heads and journalists in the financial media and that is now a Rule of Law.  For an independent fee-only Financial Advisor (RIA), being a fiduciary will matter a great deal to your ideal client and can be a key if not prerequisite selling point. But they may not grasp the full meaning and intent.

Positioned right, being a fiduciary can be a major point of differentiation from broker/dealers claiming to be financial advisors, but who are associated with vertically integrated brokerage firms that sell products with ‘hidden fees’.

One advisor quoted in the article in a recent New York Times article said  “The fiduciary rule ultimately comes down to the fact that some people are making a lot of money at the expense of other people who have no idea how much their adviser is getting paid.”  A video from a large independent advisor, compares butchers and nutritionists.  Butchers push meat. Nutritionists advise you what to eat, because they have the best interests of the client at heart.  The latter is the fiduciary.  A Revenue Architects client says, “the professional fiduciary is expected to perform and advise you based on your best interests, even if it comes into conflict with the advisor’s own interests.”

Read more

Across industries, there are a lot of articles that suggest sales is dead. The argument is that web provides a content rich platform for buyers to “self-sell” and there is no longer a need for a salesperson to drive awareness, shape and develop needs and craft tailored solutions. Some studies found that 70-80+% of a decision is made on the web and through trusted networks before a person ever engages a sales person. The sales rep’s role is reduced to order taking at the end of a self-sell cycle.

As you consider your digital strategy and in particular, financial advisor compliance strategies that take advantage of the Charles Schwab RIA Stands For You Campaign, there are a number of questions you may have related to regulatory compliance. The following responses were provided by, Mitch Avnet. Mitch is a Revenue Architects supporting partner and leading industry compliance expert who’s background includes experience with Lincoln Financial Group, Wachovia and PNC Financial.  Need assistance in your compliance program?  Contact us!

Below are some FAQs for compliance and Mitch Avnet’s replies:

Read more

At the Schwab Advisor Services meeting in New York yesterday, about 40 advisors joined to discuss a broad vision for achieving a digital presence with social media. In describing the “how to” I shared ways of thinking about digital presence and the role of social media. To help describe ways to get started, I outlined strategies that included actions for revenue strategy, revenue systems and revenue programs. But even this breakdown of strategy and planning recommendations are a lot to tackle for a busy advisor getting started with social media. I often get the question – “OK, but what are the top three things you suggest? Here are three things I would start with to get established online:

1) Solid Website – all roads lead back here, so make sure you have a foundation you are pleased with and relevant content as well as the ability to engage your audience to download items and register for interactions.

  • Clean professionally branded
  • Relevant content
  • Conversion capabilities

2) Professional LinkedIn Profiles – This is the easiest to manage from a compliance point of view and it is very well aligned with the advisor business of referrals and relationships.

  • Keyword aligned, current, descriptive profile and business page
  • Professional photo
  • Active network and # of connections

3) Active Content Sharing – With these two platforms in place, a steady stream of relevant publishing will help place you in the minds of your audience as knowledgeable and help reinforce your credibility when it is time to make a decision.

  • Sharing relevant material, text
  • Use video if you can to explain and introduce your firm (host on YouTube)
  • Publish regularly using a blog format with an RSS feed