Timing is Everything

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  • Updating Form ADV and Form U4 When it comes to disclosure on Form ADV, RIAs should assume information would be material to investors.  When in doubt, RIAs should disclose information rather than arguing later with securities regulators that it was not material.
  • Risk-Based Oversight of Investment Advisors Even if the SEC had a larger budget and more resources, it is doubtful that the Commission would have the resources to regularly examine all RIAs. Therefore, the SEC is likely to continue relying on risk-based oversight to fulfill its mission of protecting investors.

If not one of the biggest, certainly one of the most common career mistakes that I see young advisors make is timing. They don’t seem to realize that when they ask for something—a raise, a new job description, a vacation, partnership, etc.—can be just as important as what they are asking for.

In fact, more often than not, junior advisors go to their firm owners with their requests at exactly the wrong time: at the end of a quarter. Most independent advisory firms charge their advisory fees to their clients at the beginning of each quarter; which means by the end of the quarter, cash reserves are at their lowest. It doesn’t take Nostradamus to predict this would be the worst time to ask for anything.

After the beginning of a quarter, then, would most likely be a good time to make your requests. And as luck would have it right now is an excellent time. That’s because it’s both at the beginning of the fourth quarter and after the stock market has made one of it’s biggest run-ups since the ’08 meltdown. The S&P 500 is up about 10% since the beginning of September, which means those quarterly client fees collected 10.1 were the highest they’ve been in quite some time. And I can tell you, the optimistic feeling I get from my advisor/clients and prospective clients is higher than it’s been for years.

So, if you’re thinking about sitting your firm owner down for a chat about getting compensated for those long hours, lower pay, deferred bonuses, and additional responsibility that you shouldered when you stepped up during those dark months last year--now’s the time. Your firm is back on its feet, the owner is feeling good, the bank account is full. it’s high time you got rewarded for your loyalty and dedication by getting back to normal and back on track toward your career goals.

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