The Garrett Planning Network, a network of fee-only financial advisors and planners, announced at its annual conference in Denver on Friday that it would begin offering group worksite benefits to its affiliated members.
Long an issue between independent broker-dealers and their affiliated reps, Sheryl Garrett, the network’s founder, said economies of scale achieved by its 320 members made negotiations for the group plan possible. She said it is part of a list of initiatives she plans on rolling out possibly by January.
Others initiatives include a para-planner “pool,” in which members could take advantage of part-time services of recent college graduates to help the graduates gain experience, and anywhere-anytime “cloud-based” account access for advisors and clients.
The network is known for its advocacy of fee-only services and for the hourly planning model. While it is not an RIA and doesn't have AUM, its independently registered advisor members collectively have about $1.3 billion in assets under management, but "they impact a much larger asset base than that," Garrett says.
Members are also now able to choose between three separate clearing firms; FOLIOfn, Scottrade and TD Ameritrade.