I'd be interested in hearing what everyone considers their toughest competitor, or the place they have the hardest time convincing a prospect to transfer from.
In my experience, there is no question that Vanguard is just that for me. I cringe when a prospect says they're at Vanguard. I've always had trouble convincing them to move. I point out the relatively poor performance, lack of any advice, opportunity that has been lost (from poor performance) as a result of being with them, etc etc. Still, I generally get the response of 'Yeah but the annual fees are so low. I'm only paying 25bps to have my money managed." Grrrr.
I don't know if I'd call it a competitor anymore, but I cringe when I see TIAA-CREF on a statement. (I don't consider it a competitor simply because when someone has it, I'm not interested in dealing with them.)
Yeah, for me it's all the "do it yourself" type people out there I have most
trouble with. As such, its the people at Fidelity, T Rowe Price, Vanguard
etc. Although I wouldnt say it has much to do with the competitor, more
with the particular person's initial mindset that expenses are the end-all-
be-all of choosing a brokerage firm. In terms of offering advice: I'd
suggest picking up any book by Nick Murray; he usually covers the topic
of how to show clients that no-load means no advice.
I've never been all that impressed with Nick Murray. I've heard him speak a few times; he certainly has something to say though I find it too simplistic in nature. In theory it may work, but reality is a different story; at least in my experience.
Most investors are better off at Vanguard, Fidelity, T-Rowe etc than the "stock investors" at discount brokerage. At least a mutual fund provides some sense of diversification.
I too find Nick Murray to be a master of self promotion and showmanship. He was very good the first time I saw him, but just like Ripple he doesn't get better with age.
True, he's not going to give you the full "how to" of how to build a
business or anything, but I have found his discussion of how to explain to
people why they're better off with an advisor as compared to doing it
themselves to be quite effective with most people. Shrug Just my
experience there though.
You're toughest competitors are the other people in your own office. If the woman down the hall opens an account with Bill Gates tomorrow, you can't even prospect him anymore.
However, if he opens an account with another firm, you can still steal him away in the future.