RIA Community Questionnaire Viewpoint

We surveyed notable figureheads in the RIA community to showcase the views on the current landscape of the financial community, scroll to learn more about different views on challenges, investment opportunities, learning opportunities, political changes, and more .

Brian Vending, President and Managing Executive, MJP Wealth Advisors Daniel S. Kern, CEO, TFC Financial Management Donald Roy, Financial Advisor, New England Wealth Advisors Sean O’Toole, CEO, 1776 Wealth William Platt, Managing Partner, Momentum Advisors

What was your biggest challenge in 2020? What do you think it will be in 2021?
Brian: ‘In 2020 staying in front of every changing developments with the global pandemic, policy changes, tax changes and trying to be proactive in helping clients. I still believe these areas are also important in 2021. For our business specifically in 2021, finding and hiring talent for advisory roles and client service roles for our firm. We need to attract talent aligned to our values and company objectives to stay pace with our ongoing annual growth.’
Daniel: ‘Responding to Covid-19 dominated last year. Moving to a “virtual” operating and client service model was a business challenge; coaching clients to stay with their investment program was our most important focus during the year. Our major challenge for 2021 is to identify what a “post-Covid” world will look like – how quickly will vaccines be widely distributed, how effective will vaccines be against Covid-variants and what will the post-Covid economy look like.’
Donald: ‘ Complying with Regbi time and effort extensive.’
Sean: ‘Growing quality relationships, same so far this year.’
William: ‘Biggest challenge was adjusting the remote work situation Covid forced on us, and handling the. growth opportunities we were presented with at the same time. The biggest challenge in 2021 will be to handle the inflow of new clients, the hiring of new staff, and the additional services we intend to roll out to clients, all while dealing with the increased odds of an overdue market correction.’
Where is the next investment opportunity you anticipate pursuing?
Brian: ‘{We are looking at the} renewable energy space, industrial real estate, floating rate notes, and commodities.’
Brian: ‘There is always the risk of additional regulation, but it is hard to “handicap” this concern because of the new administration time in office, as well as, focus on other priorities.’
Daniel: ‘We are doing a lot of work on ESG-related investments.’
Donald: ‘{We are looking at} adding alternatives to replace portions of fixed income possibly annuities.’
Sean: ‘{We are looking at} self storage reits and build to rent homes.’
William: We’re always looking for ways to provide income for clients while minimizing risk and maintaining liquidity. It’s an incredibly difficult goal in today’s markets but we hope our mix of allocation achieves these goals.
What effects on the asset management industry do you you expect from the new administration?
Brian: ‘There is always the risk of additional regulation, but it is hard to “handicap” this concern because of the new administration time in office, as well as, focus on other priorities.’
Daniel: ‘We expect more spending and somewhat higher taxes. We also expect a higher level of scrutiny of the financial services industry, particularly in light of the recent market activity surrounding GameStop.’
Donald: ‘More complexity and they will slow growth/ create friction in the economy.’
Sean: ‘A s—t show.’
William: ‘I think commission business generally will come under greater scrutiny and is dying a slow and I believe, necessary death. This will drive clients to objective fee based advisors. I think this is a positive development for the industry and for consumers.’
What do you want to learn more about?
Brian: ‘{We are interested in learning more about} talent recruitment and succession planning.’
Daniel: ‘In a year that will still be dominated by Covid, I’ll be paying close attention to vaccine development, distribution and containment of Covid-variants.’
Donald: ‘How to model structured products in a traditional portfolio construction.’
Sean: ‘Risks of non-traded debt funds if interest rates spike.’
William: No comment

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