For an advisor, changing broker/dealers could be one of the most difficult decisions to make. If advisors aren’t getting everything they need from their current broker/dealer, how bad does it have to be before they leave? Jon Henschen is the president of Henschen & Associates in Marine on St. Croix, Minn. He specializes in helping advisors find the right broker/dealer and says there are five important questions an advisor must ask and answer before making a move. There is no right or wrong answer — it’s all in the advisor’s perspective:

  1. Is my situation painful enough to bother with changing?
  2. Will it help me enjoy what I do more?
  3. Will clients be better served?
  4. Is the move to benefit me or my clients?
  5. Where do I want to cap my growth? “If you get too big, you can get too impersonal,” Henschen says.

Two of Henschen’s questions deal with clients — that should be a top consideration for advisors. Moving strictly for higher payouts to a situation that doesn’t benefit clients can be damaging in the long run.