Any experience with Commonwealth?

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Dec 27, 2006 9:16 pm

While there has been a ton of great info on the LPL vs. RJ debate, I thought I would throw out the name of Commonwealth Financial to see what information and opinions everyone has on them.

Dec 28, 2006 12:59 am
DodgerDraftpick:

While there has been a ton of great info on the LPL vs. RJ debate, I thought I would throw out the name of Commonwealth Financial to see what information and opinions everyone has on them.



I have heard good things about them.  I chose LPL because of superior technology and the fact that they are self-clearing.

Dec 28, 2006 1:11 am

Just out of curiousity I talked with an LPL advisor today and he said he is running about four hundred dollars in technology costs per month.  Is that pretty standard from what you've seen.  He has a bit over 50 million AUM and also has two other partners in his practice.

Dec 28, 2006 1:28 am
DodgerDraftpick:

Just out of curiousity I talked with an LPL advisor today and he said he is running about four hundred dollars in technology costs per month.  Is that pretty standard from what you've seen.  He has a bit over 50 million AUM and also has two other partners in his practice.



Depending upon how he's structured his business that's not out of the question.  But you could do it for less.

All just pennies compared to what you can make....

Dec 28, 2006 1:34 am

Very true, just out of curiousity what percentage of your business is fee based and how would you rate your experience with the SAM or SAM two if you have ever used it.

Dec 28, 2006 1:57 am

My SAM business is about 40% of my AUM and my experience with the SAM platform has been very positive...lots of flexibility and excellent reporting capability.

Dec 28, 2006 9:39 am

My fee percentage is slightly higher, and my experience is the same as indyone's.  Very flexible program and easy to use.

Dec 28, 2006 1:07 pm

 I was just about to post to ask about Commonwealth myself, they seem like a pretty solid firm. Monthly cost is about the same as what was stated with LPL. Anyone have any direct experience with them?

Dec 28, 2006 4:44 pm

Thanks for the info guys.  Just out of curiousity is the SAM platform have the capability for multiple managers.  For example one manager in international, another for equities, another for bonds etc.

Dec 28, 2006 5:09 pm

Oh yeah...that's just the beginning from what I can see...multiple managers, stocks, bonds, EFTs, SMAs (in mamager select and a hybrid account between manager select and SAM), alternative investments, etc.,etc.,etc.  About the only think I know you can't put in there is a new issue CD.

Dec 29, 2006 3:19 pm

Wow sounds like they are really able to offer a lot of options.  Just out of curiousity Indyone what percent of your business is fee based.  Also what are the minimums you put on your fee based accounts and do clients seem to be okay with the fee based platform even if they have a down year.  I appreciate any insight you have on this.

Dec 29, 2006 3:40 pm
DodgerDraftpick:

Just out of curiousity I talked with an LPL advisor today and he said he is running about four hundred dollars in technology costs per month.  Is that pretty standard from what you've seen.  He has a bit over 50 million AUM and also has two other partners in his practice.


It depends on what he calls "Technology". I have a three man shop and I have 5 Vonage lines and a Fax line, I have internet charges per month I have access charges to the firms mainframe, I have quotes/news charges, I have television in the offices and I have computer costs, printer costs copier costs, I run a cell phone through here too.... that's all "Technology'" in my book. Not that I'm complaining...much... How come I'm the only guy here today? I own the place, where are my wage slaves? (I'm like Bill Murray in Ghostbusters "Look busy will ya' I'm paying for this stuff!")


I have a feeling that your guy is looking at his costs with rose colored glasses.


Mr. A



Dec 29, 2006 3:52 pm

Actually, Mr A., I think he was talking about costs he pays LPL for technology, not the cost for everything in his office with a plug...

Dec 29, 2006 4:39 pm

That is correct I was referring to specific LPL technology costs.  And you are right I am sure he has a lot of your costs as well Mr. A, he might have a bit less since it sounds like you have a bigger operation.  At any rate how do you like the fee based accounts LPL offers and what pecentage of your business does it make up Mr. A.

Dec 29, 2006 5:51 pm

No LPL for me (too gaseous)!


Mr. A


Sorry to be a butthead, but now that the year is OVER I have an excuse (as opposed to the 363 other days of '06)

Dec 29, 2006 8:01 pm

While there has been a ton of great info on the LPL vs. RJ debate, I thought I would throw out the name of Commonwealth Financial to see what information and opinions everyone has on them.


I visited their San Diego office this year, while consider a move from a branded b/d.


My impression is, they appear to be a great outfit, but for the opportunity cost of moving, better to stay on the branded platform.


Also, they are selling the "sizzle" and taking a nice profit. Better to go RIA is you are breaking from a b/d.


I don't know, they seem almost a little too slick. Just my impression, maybe they really are that good. Just the same old business building marketing ideas, though.

Dec 29, 2006 9:54 pm
DodgerDraftpick:

Wow sounds like they are really able to offer a lot of options.  Just out of curiousity Indyone what percent of your business is fee based.  Also what are the minimums you put on your fee based accounts and do clients seem to be okay with the fee based platform even if they have a down year.  I appreciate any insight you have on this.


Fee Based is about 40% and L-share annuities make up another 10%, so about half of my book is annuitized.  Eventually, I hope to have at least 80% of my book annuitized.  With a few exceptions, I start fee-based at $100,000.  Clients struggle with paying fees when they are down...that's just a fact of life.  There are a variety of ways to diffuse this, but in general, the longer clients are with you, and the better you service them, the less likely you are to hear about your fees.

Dec 30, 2006 1:42 am

Great info Indy, if you knew that you were going to go independent early on, and that you had a couple of big clients who would be investing with you, would you say starting out with fee based is a lot easier as opposed to switching later on.

Dec 30, 2006 1:50 am
planrcoach:

While there has been a ton of great info on the LPL vs. RJ debate, I thought I would throw out the name of Commonwealth Financial to see what information and opinions everyone has on them.


I visited their San Diego office this year, while consider a move from a branded b/d.


My impression is, they appear to be a great outfit, but for the opportunity cost of moving, better to stay on the branded platform.


Also, they are selling the "sizzle" and taking a nice profit. Better to go RIA is you are breaking from a b/d.


I don't know, they seem almost a little too slick. Just my impression, maybe they really are that good. Just the same old business building marketing ideas, though.



From an operational standpoint, they really ARE that good!

Dec 30, 2006 3:46 am

Joe are you currently with Commonwealth or do you have any info from someone you know who is with them.