Weekend Reading for Financial Planners (May 18-19)



Enjoy the current installment of “weekend reading for financial planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the huge industry news that mega-RIA United Capital has been sold in a mega-deal to Goldman Sachs for a whopping $750M, in what is both an eye-popping valuation (nearly 3X revenue) that strongly validates the industry’s RIA trend and also signals a major shift for Wall Street itself as Goldman Sachs enters its biggest deal in nearly 20 years to move into the RIA business itself.
Also in the news this week was the announcement that, after years of relying on the Broker Protocol to recruit breakaway brokers from wirehouses, HighTower is now shifting to an RIA-acquisition model and dropping its own no-longer-relevant participation in the Broker Protocol. And the CFP Board has released a new guide with suggestions for what fee-only advisors should be mindful of with the new CFP Board Standards of Conduct coming this fall… as the reality is that it’s not only the broker-dealer community that is impacted by the new rules.
From there, we have several insurance-related articles, including the news that John Hancock is going to start offering LTC policyowners the chance to add a co-pay to their policy benefits as a way to mitigate premium increases, a look at what to consider when evaluating a hybrid LTC insurance policy for a client, and a broader industry look at the ongoing trends in the LTC insurance marketplace (from the ongoing rise of hybrid LTC policies that now outsell traditional LTC insurance almost 4:1, to the emergence of basic LTC coverage attached to Medicare Advantage plans).
We also have a few articles on the rise of video in financial advisor marketing, from tips and best practices in recording and sharing videos (it’s OK to record vertically, but it’s time to add subtitles!), additional tips to prepare if you’re about to start doing video for the first time, and a look at how it’s becoming increasingly common to record a video for your website when changing firms to explain the switch to your clients (both as a means to more personably get the message out to them all at once, and also because it’s easier to navigate the Broker Protocol if the former clients come to you and your website!).
We wrap up with three interesting articles, all around the theme of what’s changing (and what’s not) in the world of financial advice: the first looks at the divide between the “historians” (who suggest that the financial services industry has faced technology disruption before, and always ends out on top) versus the disruptors (who believe this time is really different) and which side is likely to win; the second explores a fascinating study that finds, in the aggregate, that the financial services industry has actually managed to maintain an aggregate fee that amounts to about 1.5% to 2% of all-in costs since the late 1800s (as the industry’s services and products evolve, but its “cut” remains almost exactly the same in the end!); and the last is a fascinating thought experiment from industry commentator Bob Veres about how the financial planning profession, in particular, will likely look different 20 years from now (when he predicts the transition from our product-based roots to our advice-centric value propositions will be complete, and the entire nature of the role of the financial advisor will look fundamentally different than it does today).
Enjoy the “light” reading!
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