Michael Kitces is everywhere. He’s the co-founder of XY Planning Network and AdvicePay, has 52,200 followers on Twitter and speaks at about 60 industry events each year.
His Nerd’s Eye View blog is read regularly by about 32,000 subscribers in the advice business. Plus, he leads the wealth-management business and is a partner of the Pinnacle Advisory Group.
In a survey of 1,050 advisors, Kitces found that even with the latest technological innovations, most advisors spend less than 20% of their time in client meetings and just 50% on direct client activity — which suggests “that most financial advisors are still heavily burdened with the tasks of … running an advisory business, and handling the rest of the behind-the-scenes tasks that an advisor must do to support his/her clients,” he said.
Trying to keep up with Kitces’ pace — often by private jet — is Carson Group founder and CEO Ron Carson. The business, which includes Carson Wealth, Carson Coaching and Carson Partners, just announced plans to spend $80 million to build a new headquarters for its growing operations in Omaha.
In December, Carson said he was ending his registration with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and would buy up commission-based assets from the firms in Carson’s network that want to follow him.
Ric Edelman, founder of the RIA Edelman Financial Engines, is also on the go — often delivering keynotes at industry events and pushing the envelope in the advice business.
At TD Ameritrade Institutional’s National LINC conference in San Diego in February, he said he was cutting his ties to Bitwise, which makes index and beta crypto-asset funds.
Bitwise “is planning to launch a bitcoin ETF, and if we provide [it] to our clients, we don’t want that to be a conflict of interest,” explained Edelman, who served as an advisor and investor in the venture.
More broadly, the popular speaker and author highlights the speed of technological advancement with the aim of educating advisors. “Ask your client if their job is safe … if their employer is safe …,” he said at the Inside ETFs event earlier this year. “We have to start retraining ourselves to be vital for our clients.”
RIA United Capital founder and CEO Joe Duran told the crowd at Inside ETFs that the value of advisors isn’t their impact on “average clients, because [such clients] don’t exist,” he said. “All of us live once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”