From the July 2006 issue of Boomer Market Advisor • Subscribe!

The death of the organizational man

I thought Roger Clemens rolling up on Fenway Park in Yankee gear was the absolute worst -- then Johnny Damon followed (let's not mention Pedro Martinez). Like most Sox fans, I was mad, but then I asked myself this: If my brother-in-law can have three different employers in six years, why can't professional ballplayers? It's just one more high-profile example of the death of the organizational man.

The phrase isn't new, and was coined by former Wall Street Journal reporter Amanda Bennett in her groundbreaking book of the same name. With the increase in globalization and the advent of the Internet and 24-hour cable news, competition is fierce. Businesses, and the employees who work for them, will naturally do what's best for their individual situation. No more 30 years at the plant with full benefits and pension. Now it's all about vesting schedules and portability.

Which brings us to this year's broker/dealer guide. With the wirehouse exodus and ongoing search for top-notch reps, broker/dealers aren't immune to the effects of increased competition, and they're responding accordingly. Generous and flexible payout options, creative deferred compensation plans, transition suites, onsite training and - of course - cutting-edge technology, all reflect this new reality. There's a broker/dealer affiliation model to suit every advisor's personality and individual business needs.

But as the Bush administration's recent prescription drug plan illustrates, too many choices can be too much of a good thing, which spells confusion for some. Our broker/dealer guide is here to help you sort it all out. Will it be a large independent or a small boutique? Are you comfortable with technology or do you require the human touch? It's a buyer's market and the choice is yours. Choose wisely.

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