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Articles published 1/2017


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Jon Stein: We realized we needed to productize this to overcome the notion that robo means: no humans. No matter what the situation, we can help you.

Jon Stein unleashes elite RIA referral unit as crown jewel of grand Betterment plan to sell virtual fiduciary advice

Robo's CEO names Vanguard, Fidelity and Schwab as market-share targets of his advice offensive across the full spectrum of affluence

January 31, 2017 – 10:11 PM

Rob Isbitts: Liquid alternative mix concept is like eating a portion of your breakfast, lunch and dinner for the day at the same time.  Each part is potentially enjoyable and healthy on its own, but together it can seem more like a mishmash.

Why RIA clients still see alternatives as a 'mishmash' and 17 other cheat-sheet items for advisors in 2017

Rob Isbitts's well-researched quick takes that'll educate an RIA in 10 minutes on items from margin debt and corporate earnings to house-flipping

January 30, 2017 – 6:05 PM

Matt Sonnen: Ron said to me and is on record as saying that the brokerage business, that’s Cetera, is just an accommodation for clients.

The real Ron Carson story is that most assets went to Fidelity and TD Ameritrade where technology allows him to execute his vision

The big talk was the lateral move of some assets to Cetera but it was more a smokescreen for a breakaway

January 27, 2017 – 6:51 PM

Tim Hockey: I understand why advisors might be nervous about that.

New TD Ameritrade CEO, fresh from bank, will 'reassess' putting TD brand on products and redefining open architecture

Tim Hockey, poised to meet advisors in San Diego next week, allows that RIA business is a 'real gem' but may also be priming the pump to put more proprietary products on the shelves at 600 TD and Scottrade branches

January 26, 2017 – 11:05 PM

Alexandra Lebenthal: I had my Nasty Woman T-shirt on underneath my sweater. I knew it was there.”

Susceptible to acerbic tweets, Wall Street women report back being happily exhausted, starving, determined and 'nasty'

But for one jarring tweet, three women call event epic but peaceful, and a sure-fire cure for that post-election funk

January 25, 2017 – 7:36 PM

Steve Chipman: Advisor Group has the financial resources, products and services and long-term vision to help broker-dealers and RIAs thrive during what we are calling the fiduciary era.

While Advisor Group's high-powered organic growth strategy unfurls, Valerie Brown unleashes Steve Chipman to do the inorganic wet work of rolling up IBD orphans -- and maybe even some RIAs

Poached from Foothill Securities, Chipman cites his former employer as the reason he can talk the talk of his quarry -- smaller firm execs seeking a port in a fiduciary storm

January 25, 2017 – 3:53 PM



John Clendening: The simplest way to satisfy the new DOL rule is to appropriately have clients in fee-based advisory relationships.

How a Schwabian picture is emerging as Bob Oros joins John Clendening as chief of 4,500 underachieving HD Vest reps

Ex-Schwab retail chief Clendening makes the ex-Fido RIA chief his new CEO -- with ambitious plans in an atmosphere of revenue-sharing, variable annuities and commission sales

January 24, 2017 – 12:17 AM

When asked if Lebenthal had ever done something like this before, the response was 'Never!'

Wall Street women pile into buses and cars, head south on I-95 to protest Trump

Pack up that Nasty Woman T-shirt for a pre-dawn trip and client blowback be damned

January 21, 2017 – 2:06 AM

Jason Roberts: The litigation provides cover, so to speak, from the Administrative Procedures Act requirements.

DOL rule will be undone, in a cruel twist, by the Department of Labor -- essentially by a Trump order to cut red tape by staying the Texas court case

Jason Roberts at Pension Resources Institute: It's the DOL itself saying 'maybe we got this wrong' as a means of giving cover to delay.

January 20, 2017 – 11:42 PM

My inauguration day promise to Conservative friends: Give Trump a chance.

How the Trump phenomenon boils down to the benefits of animal spirits vs. Animal House

Stay open to the possibility that tapping into our inner American rogue will yield untold benefits but be ready to hold the politicians accountable if the experiment fails

January 20, 2017 – 5:34 PM

Scott MacKillop: The real concern is that the rule will prevent the industry from charging retirement plan clients high fees and offering them conflicted advice.

The time is now for the investment industry to shed its shameless culture or pay a steep price

Enough feeble excuses and convoluted rationalizations for delaying the DOL rule

January 19, 2017 – 7:03 PM

Eric Poirier: You don't want to be orphaned.

Addepar secures Morgan Stanley account by winning a test of wills and unleashing a small army on Manhattan

Despite initial skeptics, industry pressure pushes first wirehouse into line, but will others feel the burn?

January 18, 2017 – 9:29 PM

Irwin Stein: Unless the advisor is in a coma, it is always an uphill battle for a client to question an advisor’s judgment.

A veteran securities lawyer takes contrarian stance that the DOL is still 'suitability' reworded, when boiling its 1,000-page 'rule' down to 16-page 'guide'

In prolix prose, the Labor Department's 'exemptions' sound like fiduciary exceptions; as poems, they sound like suitability-level loopholes

January 18, 2017 – 6:23 PM

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