Advisors’ Morning Cup O’ Links: Advisor Owners, Google Analytics and Margin Compression

Aug 16, 2018

Recommended Reading

We are dusting off an oldie but goodie this week.  “Cup o’Links” was a recurring feature on Practically Speaking in the past, featuring items that I thought were important, but didn’t warrant a full article. With so many great stories out there, I think it is time to bring it back. If you subscribed to Practically Speaking to get updates (and if you didn’t, why not?) you should be seeing this post on Friday morning, so grab a cup of your favorite hot beverage and learn while you sip.

Despite 20% asset growth, RIA margins declined in 2017 by Investment News

We have been debating here (and by “we”, I mean mainly Raef Lee and I) about fee compression in our business. While we all agree that platforms and product sponsors are feeling fee compression, many people suggest that advisors are not seeing it. My argument is that fee compression is the same as margin compression. Advisors are adding services and working harder for their clients and their net income may be increasing but only because the markets have been giving them higher gross revenues.  This article looks at margins and asks “what if the market turns the other way for an extended time?”  Most advisors will be feeling that crunch.

Dangers ahead when non-advisors buy planning firms by Bob Veres via Finanical Planning

Bob  makes a strong argument for the independent advisor in this column, where he compares the legal and accounting industries’ ownership rules with that of financial advisory firms. As our industry matures, there shouldn’t be ownership that has incentives other than delivering what is best for the client.  Bob suggests that private equity, or even shareholders, may be a wedge in that relationship. If the industry wants to be considered on the same level as attorneys and CPAs, maybe it should think about ownership as well.

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Google Analytics Crash Course for Financial Advisors by Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols via WealthManagement.com

Stephen and Kevin make an assumption early in the article that most advisors have a Google Analytics account – my guess is that they are over estimating the audience. However, in this article, they provide a great tutorial to look at three data points that help you review your digital experience.  Almost every advisor I know has a website, but most have no idea if it adds any value to their marketing or digital presence.  Stephen and Kevin give you tools (via Google) to judge for yourself. Use this article to review your site and share your findings in your next marketing meeting.

Despite not having done this in three years, cup o’links feature was pretty popular back in the day. Now a days, I most often share these kind of links on Twitter, I know that many of you are not on that platform so you may not see what we are reading. I’m interested to hear if you want us to bring back this feature, let me know by leaving a comment or emailing me at Janderson@seic.com

 

Bob Veres, Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols are not affiliated with SEI or its subsidiaries.

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John Anderson

John Anderson

John Anderson is the creator and lead author of Practically Speaking blog and Managing Director of Practice Management Solutions for the SEI Advisor Network.

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