I’m not sure I’ve ever given out this many “high” relevance ratings for a single issue of any of the industry’s trade magazines before, but this issue earned every one of them. Charles Paikert did a little digging and found that Focus Financial was dramatically overstating its overall AUM, which makes some of us question its credibility. Dave Grant offers great marketing advice when he suggests that you tell actual client outcome stories (positive ones, of course) when you describe the value of your services. Joel Bruckenstein reviews Morningstar’s flashy new iPad app for advisors who use Morningstar Office and Advisor Workstation, there’s a cautionary article on giving Social Security advice, and Allan Roth does a terrific job of uncovering some misleading sales pitches that are so common in the profession that they’re practically industry standard. He thinks they should be illegal.
Plus, Bob Veres wants to perform on-site audits for the SEC at a reduced rate. Read his column, and you may want in on this action.
Meanwhile, I am not exactly floored by the assertion in this month’s cover article that the SEC and FINRA are lumping together RIAs with brokerage offices then they list this year’s high priority enforcement issues, since FINRA seems to want us to think there is no difference, and the SEC appears to be increasingly confused about the actual distinction. We are experiencing de-facto regulatory harmonization, even as the debate rages about whether it make sense from a consumer protection standpoint. The remainder of the article explains the hot-button regulatory topics (whether rollovers are described fairly and in the client’s best interest; cybersecurity; asset gathering rather than actual management of client assets; supervision at branch locations; and recruiting reps or advisors with repeated compliance violations), and suggests that you get those bases covered if they are not already.
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