Are Packaged Products the Cocaine

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Jun 6, 2007 1:38 pm

of retail investment firms?


think about it; mutual funds, va's, wrap accounts, and sma's are cut/layered with other things. they are not the pure thing. i use most of those products extensevly.


but wouldn't clients be better off owning stocks, bonds, or etf's (outside of wrap accounts)?


i know the business has changed, but does that mean it's better?


imo the following is what drives pp sales:


1)firms- like/believe that packaged products are stickier to the firm.


2)compliance- pp are less risk to the firm


3)recurring/predictable revenue- to the firm


4)online trading- reduced cost


any reps doing old school business?

Jun 6, 2007 1:42 pm
Vin Diesel:

of retail investment firms?


think about it; mutual funds, va's, wrap accounts, and sma's are cut/layered with other things. they are not the pure thing. i use most of those products extensevly.


but wouldn't clients be better off owning stocks, bonds, or etf's (outside of wrap accounts)?


i know the business has changed, but does that mean it's better?


imo the following is what drives pp sales:


1)firms- like/believe that packaged products are stickier to the firm.


2)compliance- pp are less risk to the firm


3)recurring/predictable revenue- to the firm


4)online trading- reduced cost


any reps doing old school business?


I agree that investors would be best off with a well diversified portfolio at the lowest cost.


However, we are providing a service so I have no issue with getting paid for my services.


It's up for debate how much we deserve to be paid.


In a perfect world all products would have the same exact costs so there would be no inherent conflict of interest.


This is not a perfect world.


scrim

Jun 6, 2007 2:27 pm

I've decided to limit my fees to whatever the sales tax rate is where the transaction is taking place (i.e. in my office).


If the state and local government can get an 8.25% commission on everything I buy (aside from food) then I don't see how they can tell me that I'm overcharging when I charge the same!


This is a dramatic change from my old commission policy which was TIPs based. No, not the treasury inflation protected thingies, TIPs, 15% is customary. 20% for good service (or big bazooms), more if I can get you drunk before the bill/confirm arrives!


As to Packaged products, the reason for them is that the average investor wants the greed side without having the fear side. It is the Holy Grail of investment marketing that there be something that provides that.


Several have come close, Alexander Brown used to sell Primes and Scores, breaking apart the "Growth" from the "Safety" but when the stock went above the upper collar of the safety portion, and the "growth" portion (score) was in the money, well the "safety" (prime) buyers got in a slather because they weren't participating anymore.


I remember I lost a client because I bought him a prime like component (I forget what it was called now) on CSCO where it locked in his gain and income at "only" 25% per year (he left in about 1998) because the common stock was doing better "But you're 75 years old and you need the income to make RMDs from your IRA." "FAQ* Whomit! I want more and you capped how much I can get, I'm going to Edward Jones!"


BTW, The FAQ joke is mine, I made it up a number of years ago, you can use it, just don't think you thought it up first.