Registered Rep.: How'd you end up in Hawaii?

John Robinson: My wife is from Hawaii. We married in 1996, and moved to her hometown of Honolulu. It was better for her career, and we thought it would be a good place to raise a family.

RR: Is poi any good?

JR: Poi tastes like purple paste — no matter how much sugar you add.

RR: Biggest advantage to going independent?

JR: Greater objectivity and autonomy.

RR: You worked at A.G Edwards in Massachusetts for seven years, and half your clients are still there. Tough commute, huh?

JR: The flight never gets easier, but Massachusetts is where I grew up; it still feels like home. I go back every May and October.

RR: How often do you wear a shirt and tie?

JR: Rarely. When I first arrived in Honolulu, I didn't want to seem like I was trying to fake being local, so I stuck with my east coast shirt-and-tie regimen. These days, I am much more comfortable in aloha attire, which is considered “business professional.”

RR: Wouldn't you stand to make a better living if you were a true fee-only RIA?

JR: I would certainly make more money. I remain dually-registered because it's in my clients' best interests.

RR: Board shorts or speedos?

JR: Board shorts — definitely, board shorts.

RR: Is criticism of the commission-based broker overstated?

JR: Some of it (i.e. disclosure) is legitimate. What's overstated is the notion that asset-based-fee and flat-fee compensation are free from conflicts of interest — they are not.

RR: Your perfect day?

JR: Coach my son's Little League baseball game; take my wife and three boys snorkeling at Shark's Cove; family barbeque at home; watch the Red Sox game on Tivo; fall asleep reading Antiques & the Arts Weekly.