Who’s Going to Help ‘Small’ Customers? Probably not ‘Big’ Brokerage Firms
26 Jun 2017
The Premier radio team and I received a phone call from a ‘small investor’ in his 20’s on our PII Financial Hour radio show on WMT 600AM Tuesday. His question was a good one “how do I get investment advice when I’m just starting to invest?”
This young man sounded like a real ‘go-getter’ to me and we gave him some tips he could use in his “accumulation stage” of investing. After the call, a question I’ve had for awhile keeps popping in to my head about the future of financial advice, “Who’s going to help ‘smaller’ investors get ‘big’?
It all started 5 years ago when Bank of America told Investment News that it discovered their investment customers with less than $250,000 were only generating 4% of the company’s revenue. Soon after, BOA came out with an incentive package for their 14,000 financial advisors to “stay away” from smaller customers and focus on big accounts. Sounds like a good way for a big company to make extra profits right? BOA’s idea is so good that their other “big” competitors, such as Merrill Lynch have come out with a similar program that “incentivize” their advisors to work with investors with over $250,000, and telling their advisors that they “won’t be compensated” if they give advice to investors who fall short of $250,000 account minimums.
My question is this, “Didn’t most investors with over $250,000 need advice when they had less than $250,000 to invest?” How else are ‘small’ investors going to get ‘big’. Furthermore, in their 2017 report, AdvisoryHQ estimated that the average cost of a financial plan on the east and west coast (and Chicago) is approximately $1500 to $5000 up-front plus a monthly fee of $150 to $500 per month. How does a ‘small’ investor get investment advice without shelling out hundred’s or even thousands of dollars to an advisor? Call PII, we currently do not have any account minimums and we make our financial planning fee affordable for the ‘big’ or ‘small’ investor!