You’ve still got time. Think of the DOL’s new fiduciary rules as a shot across the bow. Heed the warning, change course, and discover how rewarding this business can be without the glaring conflicts of commission. Loaded mutual funds, variable annuities, and non-traded REITS, with their massive sales and marketing expenses, are getting in the way of your career. These products, in their commission-laden form are not in your client’s best interests, and deep down you know it.
As a professional investment advisor, you have the knowledge and skills your clients desperately need to achieve their financial goals. Why are you wasting this great opportunity? Transitioning away from commission may lower your earnings initially, but long term, the value of your book of business will increase dramatically. There are numerous resources available that will help you learn how to bill for your services. Your clients will gladly pay you, because your unbiased advice is worth it.
Stop hiding your compensation or worse, charging a fee on some assets, and commission on other assets. The regulators should not allow this. We know our clients rarely, if ever, understand the disclosures regarding dually registered and hybrid advisor conflicts of interest. The regulators allow it because in the real world of political and financial power, the huge firms who profit from these products call the shots (for now, at least). Years ago, there were viable reasons to provide commission products, but now those products, with the exception of life insurance, are readily available without commission loads.
Time is running out. Technology, regulation, and information is driving consumers at all asset levels away from commission products. It’s time to drop your Series 7.