It’s an eerie feeling, and maybe you’re feeling it too. With all the discussion about the Department of Labor’s (DOL) pending legislation set to reshape much of our industry, things seems to have been talked out, ad nauseam. Now we wait.
Will commissions on annuity products be slashed in favor of a flat fee? Will broker dealers find themselves receiving a fraction of current revenues? Will advisors who are not dually licensed quickly become unable to sustain their business models? Will clients find themselves out in the cold, wondering where their advisor has gone?
Back in November 2007, I alerted all of our clients to the fact that the stock market was going to crash. Phone calls and emails were received with mixed reactions; some said I was crazy, others looked to me for next steps. I share this because the feeling I had just prior to those conversations was a similar eerie feeling to the one I have now. I looked around and said to myself, “Boy, things are going to be a lot different for a while.” In fact, when I called people, one of the first things I said was, “I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.” I wasn’t.
With the DOL legislation coming soon, there’s a quiet sense again that things are going to be very different for a lot of people for a long while. Revenues are likely to shrink, marketing budgets will probably be reduced, and staff cuts may be a strong possibility for a lot of advisors. That beautiful building you may own could begin to feel like a noose around your neck. I hope I’m wrong.
What Your Peers Are Reading
With change in the air, what steps might you consider taking to weather the storm?
Here are a few suggestions:
1) Get out of debt now. Use current cash flow to reduce your fixed costs. Whether the actual changes are severe or not, you’ll be in a better financial position either way if you lessen your debt load.