How are stockbrokers and RIAs different?

Do you ever wonder what do others think about you?  Often, the image people have of themselves is different from how they are viewed by others.  We regularly meet with clients to get feedback from them. asking them how they view us.  We’re pleased and often flattered by hearing that they like us, using terms such as “trustworthy,” “personal service” and “integrity.”  But in a recent interview we found that one of our oldest clients still did not understand the important change we made when be left a major global investment firm to create our own Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm.

He was still stuck in the past, when stockbrokers would call their clients to sell them stocks and bonds.  That’s still the model at the “big box” stores that you see advertised on TV.  They may call their brokers “investment advisors” and use that term in their advertizing.  But internally they refer to their brokers  as the “sales force.”  Because that’s what their job is: to sell products to their customers.

As RIAs we think about things totally differently.  We don’t sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, partnerships or life insurance.  These may all be part of your total financial portfolio, but they are a means, not an end.  We create investment portfolios that are designed to accomplish your personal financial needs and goals.

To use a real estate analogy, a stockbroker tries to sell you a kitchen one day, a bedroom the next and then a new roof on the third.  We provide a home designed for you and your family.

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