5 Trends

The Big Profit Squeeze All Advisors Face

As the industry looks ahead to 2017, many executives are concerned about profit margins. The cost of complying with new Department of Labor regulations adds to the inexorable upward march of costs, while new competition from digital advisors (yes, we’re talking about robos) has advisors and service providers worried about fees. Costs up, revenues static or down — it’s your classic margin squeeze, which causes small firms to suffer and medium to large firms to band together in search of scale.


Read full article:
The Big Profit Squeeze All Advisors Face
By Matt Lynch, Managing Partner, Strategy & Resources, LLC., November 21, 2016


Investment Advisor -December 2016 Issue

Investment Advisor cover story
December 2016 Issue



Executive Roundtable – October 2015

Following the FPA Major Firms Symposium in Boston, eight tenured consultants in the financial services industry gathered to discuss trends, opportunities and challenges facing financial advisors and the larger firms that support them. These executives included Marion Asnes, Idea Refinery; Bob Cogan, Strategy B4 Tactics; Julie Littlechild, If Not Now Research; Matt Lynch, Strategy and Resources; Marty Miller, Clear Path Consulting; Marie Swift, Impact Communications; Richard Scott Taylor, Innesskirk Global; Mitch Vigeveno, Turning Point, Inc. 

A white paper transcript and a set of short video clips capture their conversation. Excerpt of the conversation were published by Investment Advisor Magazine (cover story November issue 2015). See previous post.


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Download the white paper (pdf).

View the entire set of video shorts at AdvisorsThinkTank.com.

Why Firms Pay for Services They Don’t Need

Nobody wants to get a bill for services they didn’t need or purchase. But that’s what’s happening – unwittingly – to advisors as the vendors that supply them expand their service offerings.

With recent regulatory activity, such as the pending DOL fiduciary standard, riling up compliance departments and shifting consumer preferences to lower-cost advice models, players in the advisor-to-client supply chain are feeling the squeeze. In response, advisor-service firms are expanding into non-core functions – expanding their value in an effort to capture a larger slice of the pie.

Many firms are incorporating these extra services, such as asset allocation and data aggregation, into their existing advisor offering. That’s all well and good – but, as a result, advisors could be paying for the same function twice, or even more times over, because they now exist within a bundled pricing model from separate third-party firms.


Read full article:
Why Firms Pay for Services They Don’t Need
By Matt Lynch, Managing Partner, Strategy & Resources, LLC., March 22, 2016



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Do You Know What You Do for Clients?

The reality is that we don’t enhance value by improving service, although that is the default for many advisors. Value is more closely linked to the offer and the relationship; it’s connected to leadership.


Most of us look at our jobs from the inside out, not from the outside in. We can’t help it; we are immersed in our process and the day-to-day details of what we do. But taking a moment to look at our job from the outside—from the client’s point of view—can be an important wake-up call. You’ll see clients can’t understand every detail of what you do. Nor should they, just as you shouldn’t be expected to understand every nuance of running your doctor’s office.

But with doctors, you understand the effects of being treated. With financial advisors, that may not be the case. It’s up to you to explain it to them.

Eventually your clients, and every other advisor’s clients, will start asking the hard questions. Before they do, you should ask and answer them yourself.


Read full article:
Do You Know What You Do for Clients?
By Matt Lynch, Managing Partner, Strategy & Resources, LLC, and Julie Littlechild, Founder, If Not Now Research, Jan. 6, 2016


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