This is an extended version of the profile that appeared in the May issue of Investment Advisor, part of AdvisorOne's Special Report profiling this year's members of the IA 25, the most influential people in and around the advisor universe. See the complete list and Special Report schedule for extended profiles of all the 2011 members of the IA 25.
In registered investment advisor and fiduciary circles, Ron Rhoades, new to the IA 25 this year, is a gentleman and a scholar. An attorney by training, Rhoades is a private wealth manager, director of research and chief compliance officer at Joseph Capital Management LLC, an RIA in Hernando, Fla., Chapel Hill, N.C. and on Long Island, which manages about $160 million for around 150 families.
Rhoades chairs the Industry Issues Committee and is a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). A prolific writer, Rhoades is active in print, on the Web and in Washington as an advocate for extending the fiduciary standard of conduct to brokers who provide advice to individual investors. He is a member of The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard, as is this editor.
“There is a tremendous lack of knowledge out there” among investors, according to Rhoades, about the differences between brokers and RIAs. Rhoades notes that “it is incumbent on RIAs to basically educate the public at large, through articles in community newspapers, or speaking, about the different types of advisors and the advantages and disadvantages of each.”
His firm has grown to seven professionals since it opened its doors in 2001, “right after 9/11,” Rhoades says. They are adding another advisor now, bringing the total to eight. The new advisor is the first they have hired “right out of college,” and is going through training at the firm now.
Back to School
Speaking of college, there’s big news for Rhoades, with changes in the offing in his environment, location and career. Always a scholarly presence, Rhoades will shed his CCO post at his firm, while retaining the director of research post, and decamp from Florida to upstate New York next summer to take a full-time post as a professor at Alfred College of the State University of New York. He will teach in the college’s personal financial planning program. Rhoades will be “available to clients and colleagues evenings and weekends.”
What would he tell advisors who want to continue to thrive? Rhoades has two pieces of advice: “Get out to conferences” and learn all you can from them, and “give back—whatever you give, you get back tenfold.”
“One of the nice things about this profession of financial planning,” in Rhoades’ view, is that “there are a lot of people out there in the world that need our help. We don’t have to fight over a small number of clients—we can help each other to become better advisors and counselors to our clients, and that’s one of the things that’s unique about the financial planning community.”
Read more about the rest of the IA 25.
Don't see someone on this year's IA 25 that you think belongs there? Submit their name and your justification for why they should be considered among the most influential people in and around the advisor universe in the Comments field below. We promise to consider reader nominations, but please, no ad hominem attacks on those who were named in this or past years.–Ed.