The New Marketplace

Little more than a generation ago, individuals who needed help managing their money would seek assistance from a small team of professionals, each with an individual area of expertise. An accountant handled their taxes, a stock broker executed their trades (on commission, no less), and an estate planning attorney made sure their financial legacy would live on.

Today’s marketplace is very different. Middle income and high net worth Americans are appreciably savvier about money management, thanks to the proliferation of information through television and online media. A fee-based compensation model has taken hold of the financial planning industry. And now, clients are looking for a one-stop-shop to handle their myriad financial affairs, including taxes, investments, college and retirement planning, trusts, and more.

Many forward-thinking CPA firms are striving to stay competitive and maximize growth by adding investment advisory services to their existing practice, but this move is not without its challenges. The risks and responsibilities involved in creating and overseeing a financial planning practice can pull resources away from the core business, and even cause dissention between firm partners. Some firms that have already implemented investment advisory services have felt frustrated by lower-than-expected profit margins, relative to the resources they invested into launching and maintaining the business. Others are concerned about perceived conflicts of interest, and about the risks and legalities involved in offering financial services in-house. Our CPA-RIA model offers a compelling solution to meet these challenges.

Read more: Changing Times