From the July 2007 issue of Boomer Market Advisor • Subscribe!

How is your broker/dealer positively or negatively affecting your business?

"I think many independent broker/dealers are eventually going to go out of business because their fees are too costly. I'm in the business of rolling over accounts from 401(k)s, and I feel the trend is moving toward online discount brokers." - Anonymous, financial advisor, New York

"I think more attention should focus on what's good for the client, not what's good for the broker/dealer. The NASD and the SEC are more concerned about sending a prospectus that nobody can read, rather than the abuse of the actual sale." - Frank Eberhart, branch owner, Investment Center, Chester N.J.

"I would like to see more early stage investment opportunities - venture capital deals and private equity. I know a number of reps that are looking for more of this type of sizzle to sell." -- Shawn Kalin, director, Vegas Capital, Las Vegas

"They need to understand that they should be considered a true business partner in the operation of our practice. We pay them a portion of our revenue and in turn, they should do whatever is in their power to facilitate the smooth flow of the business that we run through them. Too often, I have seen broker/dealers not understand that we have chosen them, not vice versa, and they take things for granted when working with us. I am, for the most part, pleased with FSC. Joby [Gruber, FSC's president] is accessible when necessary and the broker/dealer as a whole does take ownership in our partnership with them." -- C. Todd Estes, Wealth Strategies LLC, Birmingham, Ala.

"I'm moving to an RIA platform, so I am not sure why I have a broker/dealer. I refuse to sell variable life or annuities, so the broker/dealer is only needed for selling stocks and bonds." -- Ellwood L. Jones, president, Capital Region Financial Group, Folsom, Calif.

"I was with the same broker/dealer from 1976 to 1987. From 1987 to 2003 I was with three different broker/dealers -- not because I changed, but due to mergers and buyouts. In 2003, as a result of another buyout, a group of top producers formed our own broker/dealer. As a founding shareholder, I am also an owner and have a stake in its success." - Lewis Walker, founding advisor, The Strategic Financial Alliance Inc., Norcross, Ga.

"Unfortunately, they seem to be geared towards protecting their own liability, instead of providing reliable support to their representatives. This occurs to the detriment of the client's best interests." -- Laura Gilman, financial advisor, Los Angeles

"They really do not have an affect on my business at all. They provide three necessary functions: They pay me, they are a technology resource and they provide compliance oversight." - Raymond Carota, president, Brandywine Financial Group, West Conshohocken, Pa.

"This is the first time I've had a broker/dealer that actually is available to me. I can speak to someone and action is taken. This is critical in getting the applications and transfers completed." -- Max J. Brann, financial advisor,
Tucson, Ariz.

"They are a valued part of any team. You cannot do it yourself, so it's important to surround yourself with as many resources as possible." -- Peter G. Kosanke, Jr., senior partner, Ironwood Financial, Tucson, Ariz.

"They need to spend more money on technology." -- Wesley E. Watkis, president, The W&W Goup, Chevy Chase, Md.

"They are also a necessary evil and should make every effort to instill competency in their advisors. I do not sense that they think we (reps and broker/dealers) should operate hand-in-hand." - Anonymous, financial advisor,
Alexandria, Va.

"Broker/dealers should be enablers, not disablers." -- Richard Gilliland Jr., CFP, executive vice president, Western International Securities, Orange, Calif.

"The reputation of your broker/dealer reflects on you and can give your clients confidence -- or not! My firm has a very good reputation." - Teresa L. Darnielle, financial advisor, RBC Dain Rauscher, Mont.

"They can make you or break you." - Beth Marshall, financial advisor, Ann Arbor, Mich.

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