Everyone, yes everyone, is now trying to offer financial advice to the clients of Wall Street retail brokerage advisors—especially the wealthy ones. The onslaught is coming from above and below and beyond. Partly because of a few little slip-ups the firms made back in 2007 and 2008 and partly because it’s just an attractive business to be in these days—with Baby Boomers retiring and more individuals wanting or needing advice in the wake of that frightful black swan event in the markets and as investing simply gets more complex.
From Below: A few weeks ago, I wrote about how direct investment sites like E*Trade and Schwab’s discount service—originally aimed at middle-income clients and wealthy investors who wanted to experiment with play money—are directly competing with financial advisors by offering managed account services and other kinds of financial advice.
From Above: Then last week, I wrote about a McKinsey report that urged private banks to go after “core” millionaires—those families with between $1 million and $10 million in assets, many of whom are the beans and baloney of Wall Street’s major retail brokerages, also known as wirehouses: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, UBS, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and Wells Fargo.
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(Read more from Features Editor, Kristen French on her blog, Due Diligence.)