There’s been much written about our demise.
And, depending on your point of view, you may agree.
We recently attended (and spoke at) the Investments & Wealth Institute Annual Conference Experience—ACE in Nashville.
As a whole host of our colleagues were assembled, we interviewed many and asked the question:
Are you bullish or bearish on wholesaling?
Here’s what they had to say:
“Bullish. Because there is such a need, right now, in the advisor community to understand how to build their practice.
Advisors have, probably over the last five to 10 years, stopped prospecting, stopped building their business. Not only do they need wholesalers to help them understand where their products and services fit, but more importantly how do you grow net new assets? How do you grow the business? And the ability to share valuable insights from other successful advisors can actually help in a business, in a practice management standpoint, as well.”
“I would say the industry’s changing. I think the days of the half million dollar wholesaling role are gone. It’s more likely a 150 to 350 world”
“Bearish. There’s a lot of information that, quite frankly, an advisor can find online that I can provide. So I see that. I also see asset compression and fee compression. I think that’s just starting from top down, from mutual fund managers to asset distributors to the firms that we work with.
I do think on the annuity side we have a leg up, as opposed to the mutual fund side, because there’s a lot more hand-holding, contracts. But I am overall bearish.”
“I would say I’m neutral on wholesaling. I think the way that the industry is moving, from a technology perspective, and the way that people digest information, human interaction is looked at a little bit differently from a home office sales perspective.
But my personal perspective, I think human interaction is probably the most important thing when it comes to sales. So there’s always gonna be a place for wholesalers within a firm. I think it just depends on the size of the firm and how they wanna build out their sales model.”
“Bullish. I think there’s just a need for it. You’re always gonna need salespeople to go out and knock on doors for a business.”
“Bearish. I just think it’s tougher to get in front of people. You really have to have a differentiated story, and I feel like, for the most part, I certainly feel like we have a differentiated story. But I kind of think, I don’t know… “
“Bullish. I believe that the role here is changing into a place where we are becoming part of advisor’s teams, adding value there. What we do and the ability to impact more people, I believe, is going to continue to grow, so I’m there. I’m all in.”
“Very bullish. I think that anyone that is wholesaling in today’s current market and can provide some distinguishing factors, as far as how they are wholesaling and what kind of value they’re providing to advisors, allows them to separate themselves from the pack.”
“Bullish. I think it’s a great opportunity, great industry that everybody’s going to need indefinitely in the future.
Because everybody needs investments. Everybody wants to retire, so working with advisors and giving them opportunities to help their clients is what this industry is all about.”
“That’s a very interesting question. I have concerns about the wholesaling industry as it has operated for the past couple of decades.
The industry needs to evolve and will evolve in how products and services are marketed to the financial advisor community.
[Such as evolving] around technology. Aligned with current technology and I think that also the underpinning beyond the technology is the way wholesalers are trained and how they express their value proposition to advisors.”
“I’m bullish, but in a different context, not in the traditional format.
That means that the traditional stand and deliver, quick stop by, wholesaling model is probably a thing of the past.
Much more technical. Advisors, RIAs, high net worth advisors, you name it, all of them are saying that they don’t want the traditional wholesaling model. They’re looking for portfolio construction expertise. They’re looking for deeper thought around how they bring together portfolios in a more efficient manner. How they drive a better outcome for clients.
Also, credentialing is becoming a pretty important table stake to be successful in this space.”
“I don’t really know how to answer that question, because I think wholesaling is just going to change, so I’d say I’m cautiously optimistic.”
“I’m bullish on wholesaling.
I think that advisors are going to have to differentiate themselves more now than ever before, especially with the move towards fee-based business and advice, fiduciary type standard. I think that’s really important.”
“Bullish. Because as we move into a market more dominated by ETFs, and passive investments, I feel that a wholesaler has to set himself and his product apart in a more competitive environment.
I think the good will be better and the bad will no longer exist.”
What about you, are you bullish or bearish on wholesaling?