From the July 2009 issue of Boomer Market Advisor • Subscribe!

Profit from chaos

No, not in a price gouging sort of way. More of a "things are pretty crazy, but I have an answer" sort of way. Independent broker/dealers - despite reporting year-over-year revenue declines - are having their best recruiting year ever. Taking advantage of high-profile implosions at large wirehouses (seriously, are there any left?), they're wooing top advisors looking for new and stable homes. With deferred comp in the toilet and headline risk through the roof, who can blame them?

The wirehouse exodus is now (finally) underway.

Chip Roame, Tiburon Strategic Advisors' chief, recently told us he believes the broker and advisor industries will be completely independent in three to five years. This can only be a good thing for baby boomer clients who have little time to "re-accumulate" retirement assets lost in the broadside hit they've taken to their portfolio. Every wirehouse rep tells us they are in no way pressured to sell the firm's proprietary product. Yet every rep who's gone independent tells us the exact opposite. Someone's not telling the truth. I have my suspicions as to whom.

Which brings us to this year's Broker/DealerResource Guide, perhaps our most important because of all that's happening in the space. As we've said in the past, increasingly generous and flexible affiliation and payout options means there's a broker/dealer partner to fit every advisor's personality and business philosophy. Stiff competition for your business means this generosity is increasing exponentially. They're profiting in the chaotic environment, something in which they want you to share. If something's not right with your current broker/dealer affiliation (slow and inaccurate payouts, poor back office performance, compliance hell) it's time to move on. It'll better position you - and more importantly your baby boomer clients - for the recovery that's sure to come.

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