Does anyone have any experience with H.D. Vest? My partner and I are in our third year of our tax practice. I want to begin offering investment services and was wondering if this company is good to work with.
lambda wrote: My partner and I are in our third year of our tax practice. I want to begin offering investment services...
I'll bet you do, Clark.
Stick with taxes, we'll handle the investments. Some of the very worst portfolios I've seen have come from CPAs trying to make some easy money in the investment biz.
It's impossible to be an expert at both, and you can literaly ruin a person's life in this business--even if you're semi-competent.
Or - bring on a partner who is licensed. If you're a CPA I would be looking for no less than a CFP to partner with to maintain the same level of trust that you've built.
While I believe there's plenty of business for everyone(only 10% of clients are truly taken care of), I agree with Borker. The CPA's I work with are all looking towards becoming more of a consultant to their clients, but when I ask them how they run their businesses I often find that they lack the time, knowledge, and mindset to work from the other side.
I apologize, I have no experience w/ HD Vest.
H.D. Vest is owned by Wells Fargo -- not quite sure when they were acquired, but it's been at least 3-4 years, perhaps longer. For a couple of years, my BD was also owned by Wells and we utilized the H.D. Vest insurance department (which I liked, but was relatively small and not close to the same league, as say BISYS). I can't tell you anything about the BD side, but I can tell you that Wells has no idea what they're doing in owning a BD that services indy offices, if my experience with First Allied Securities can be extended to H.D. Vest.
That said, and given the excellent advice you have received in the previous posts, if you still want to proceed into investments for your clients, H.D. Vest may be your only reasonable alternative. They specialize in accountants and without any experience in the business you will have trouble finding any other firm willing to help you get licensed and allow you to work with them.
I knew two CPA's Firms that just got out of the investment business because of the amount of regs and paperwork required to do the job--one is in the process of trying to find someone to take his accounts. I really don't want to do taxes and that is why I refer out to the CPA's--do you really want to lose some of your tax clients? Because if you get into the investment business--no one in this business is going to refer to you and you might be surprised how many just don't come back anymore!
Thanks for the advice guys, however I should have clarified my question. My involvment in the tax practice is only tax preparation. My partner is the expert and is currently studying for his EA. My passion is more in financial planning and investments. I was looking into different BDs including LPL, who can provide good start-up support to a newbie just starting out.
lambda wrote:Thanks for the advice guys, however I should have clarified my question. My involvment in the tax practice is only tax preparation. My partner is the expert and is currently studying for his EA. My passion is more in financial planning and investments. I was looking into different BDs including LPL, who can provide good start-up support to a newbie just starting out.So neither of you are CPA's?
It doesn't appear so.
But don't worry, joe, the "expert" at the firm is currently studying for the Enrolled Agent exam.
Better start with HDVest...LPL won't take you as a newbie.
Indyone is correct--LPL won't let you start there. HD Vest is your best place to start
My mom is a CPA and has been with HD Vest for 15 years. I am in law school and decided to get my Series 6 & 63 license and registered w/ Vest and they gave me no problems. I think that if you have an established tax practice then you will be fine with them. Their marketing program is directed almost entirely to current tax clients. I wouldn't recommend them if you weren't a CPA and just wanted to do advising though. I went to HD Vest's national conference in '07 and thought it was very good. Hope this helps.
Similar story. My dad is a CPA and got his 6,63,65,26 about 15 years ago and serves as chapter president for Vest. He's had nothing but good things to say about the support and career path adjustment.
I just formed a partnership with a CPA, I am an independent rep, and he loved HD Vest. Very low minimums and they are geared specifically towards CPA practices. It is all they do I believe, so they can really help with implementation. It also helps for guys/gals just starting out that their minimums are pretty much non-existent-it will help having less production pressure on you guys.
And I hate to say it, but my partner really didn't quite know what he should have to be helping people with investments. Experience tells me CPA's have no time the way it is to operate a tax business, let alone know the investments. I understand the CPA's who use their CPA designation and run an investment firm, but most I have seen who try to do both simply pluck the low hanging fruit and do their clientele a disservice.
just my 2 cents.
Looks like I'm the only one whose mom & dad dont work @ H.D. Vest!
Great post ironhorse I see the same thing
The HD Vest model gets CPAs into the business but gives them very little support. It also limits them to only what HD Vest offers. I don't know where you are located but the model is built for middle America, it doesn't work very well when you are working with higher net worth, more sophisticated clients. We believe that the co-source model works much better---set up a financial services LLC, an RIA, and an insurance agency. Then have a list of several outsource partners for each. The outsource partners do the work and you split fees 50/50. You can find more details about this model in the book "Accountants as Wealth Managers" co authored by our managing partner Richard Urbealis.
Private Client Group, LLC
I tend to agree with the above post. I'm a CPA who started off with HD Vest - and have now gone independent. I was only with Vest a year. I soon realized that even though they cater to CPA's their structure just didn't fit my firm. The clients who I am working with are high net worth or savy business people and on the whole Vests fee structure (for advisory work) didn't make sense. I also found customer service poor -lengthy hold times on the phone as well as very slow web based software. The software was almost enough by itself to turn me off.I've set up my own RIA and I know this is the right decision for my firm.
I thought I'd add to my previous post - I'm nowtotally disgusted with HD Vest. Since I gave notice 2 months ago...communication has seized. I can't get a phone call returned nor emails answered. Not very professional service at all.I just transferred my accounts out of there and can see I've been charged over $100 in fees since my last statement. I imagine since I'm no longer a rep they are hitting me for all the regular account fees that reps were exempt from. I can't log on to my accounts so have to wait for my snail mail delivery of the statement to see exactly what I've been charged. No I'm not a happy camper.
No, it isn't impossible to be an expert. Experts are in practice and specialize. Frankly, I've seen WAY TOO many so called investment experts have have led client down the wrong path and / or can't explain the questions that are asked. How many clients have I seen that are paying way too much in tax b/c investment advisors, your experts, didn't think the problem through. So, Borker Boy, I'd say you just haven't met the right folks! Again, may investment folks think they are the only game in town; not so. . . So I say, go for it and be an expert in the fields your clients are asking for expertise. You don't have to add another person all the time!
Mind sharing what you did to set up your own RIA? It sounds like a better idea!
I know it has been a few years since you posted your question about becoming involved with investments as a CPA. I just wanted to know if you ended up becoming licensed with HD Vest or another Broker-Dealer and, if so, do you find yourself more as a CPA or are you fully engrossed with your clients' financial planning? Thanks!
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