Some brokers almost cringe at the term "stock-picker." It can conjure up visions of reps with frayed nerves and churned accounts.
Not Charlie Lyddane.
"I'm not ashamed to admit that I pick stocks," says Lyddane, a soloist at Legg Mason in West Chester, Pa. "It's what a broker is supposed to do. My clients like that kind of help."
Apparently so. Lyddane reports $1 million in production and $120 million under management. He's been a broker for 19 years and has never been part of a team.
"I've never had the opportunity to have or need a partnership," Lyddane says. "Besides, I like doing things on my own. No one will care about my clients like I do."
He thinks it's wrong to hand off client service. "My clients pay to deal with me," Lyddane says. "I craft stock portfolios of blue chips with a bent toward technology. I'm their single source, and I like being responsible."
He is responsible - literally.
With 400 clients and 1,000 accounts, Lyddane uses discretionary account management as a time-saving technique. "I can't call everybody when I move stuff around. So I pick investments as I see fit." He maintains a list of about 30 preferred stocks and adjusts portfolios to suit his client base of primarily affluent retirees 50 to 70 years old.
Although he is not on a team, he has established some alliances as part of an efficiency strategy. "I work with a pension administrator outside the firm and an insurance provider within the firm," Lyddane says. He also has one unregistered sales assistant, and that's it.
Lyddane admits he spends no time or effort on marketing. He lets his results and happy clients do that. He does, however, rely heavily on Legg Mason to support him with technology. He likes using Broker Ally, a database. "I comb through the information looking for anything that could lead to a new business opportunity," he says.
Although he does his own thing, Lyddane appreciates the help he gets from the firm. "Legg Mason supports a number of teams, but I've found them to be very supportive of what I do. I have a great arrangement."