Whether we like it or not, things change, especially in our business.
I have been in business for 24 years. I remember when you could do
$100M in bonds, and go home for the day. Mutual funds paid 8.75%, and
you won televisions for $100M in a US Govt. bond fund, and trips to
Hawaii and Europe for just $1MM. And the clients never knew.
I also remember when these things weren't considered ethically-challenged. Thank goodness things are changing.
Our industry has taken great leaps toward transparency and objectivity,
though with much kicking and screaming. The transparency of pricing
changes things for us. What is necessary in todays investment advisor
is a skill set quite different from the salesmanship skills of the
perfected handshake and the happy cold call.
Todays investment advisor has
to be different. Today's advisor must work in a bueiness where clients
know what they're paying. This presents the true pros on our business
with an enormous opportunity. True pros will learn to be
"practitioners," rather than salesman. True professionals will offer
services that clients will value enough to pay fees. The only way that
can happen is if we educate ourselves, gather assets, and prepare for
the deluge that will wipe out nearly half of us from the business in
the next few years.