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Michael Kitces' #FASuccess Podcast: Mindy Diamond on Helping Advisors Choose a Brokerage Platform

Diamond Consultants' Mindy Diamond talks about when advisors should and shouldn't look at switching to another broker/dealer.



Welcome back to the 176th episode of Financial Advisor Success Podcast!

My guest on today’s podcast is Mindy Diamond. Mindy is the founder of Diamond Consultants, a recruiting firm that has been helping advisors evaluate and change their broker/dealer platforms for more than 20 years now. What’s unique about Mindy, though, is her deep understanding of the full breadth of options that advisors can consider when evaluating the right platform to build their businesses—from wirehouses to regional broker/dealers, independent broker/dealers, and hybrid RIAs, and from employees to independent models.

In this episode, we talk in depth about the range of choices that advisors have today in choosing a brokerage platform, the contrasting benefits and disadvantages of each platform depending on the types of clientele the advisor serves, how each varies in what they will pay in upfront recruiting bonuses versus higher payouts over time, and the way the independent RIA channel is increasingly replicating the brokerage channel as it shifts from simply being the most openly independent platform to instead ranging from employee tuck-ins to fully independent models as well.

We also talk about when advisors should and shouldn’t look at switching to another broker/dealer platform. Why it’s not enough to just feel the push that makes you want to leave your current platform but you must also have a pull that makes you want to go find a new one, the most common pushes and pulls in practice that lead advisors to switch platforms, from “lowest common denominator” (LCD) compliance frustrations to limitations on product choice, compensation changes or simply a desire to build more equity in your own business, and why it’s so crucial for an advisor to understand and assess their own priorities first to have any chance of really picking the right platform for them.

And be certain to listen to the end, where Mindy shares her perspective on how brokerage platforms for advisors have changed over the years. Why the decision about what platform to choose is not as black and white as it once was and instead is more shades of gray, how the emergence of teaming (especially in wirehouses) may be better for advisor training but also makes it harder for advisors to change platforms when they want to, and why the most crucial question that advisors need to evaluate when figuring out whether they’re in the right place or not, is simply to take a hard look at whether they really want to be an employee or independent in the first place because there are opportunities to succeed with both.

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