Are Financial Advisors Lazy?

business man idly watching the clock

My involvement in the recruiting world gives me many opportunities to chat with advisors of all stripes and sizes. In these discussions, I’ve noticed a common theme that continues to rise to the top: an overwhelming interest in becoming an RIA. Unhappy with their current circumstances, these folks are intrigued by the many benefits they could take advantage of. But something is holding them back.


Okay, that’s my word, not theirs. But that’s how I sum up the various iterations of this one common roadblock that continues to emerge. The advisors that I speak to vent about how difficult it would be to re-paper their accounts, reach out to all of their clients, and learn a new technology system as well as new operational processes. They also almost always mention not wanting to be bogged down with the administrative “busy work” required in making the change.

So yes, I stand by my assessment: the advisor is being lazy!

Sure, those things might be a pain—but, on the whole, this is not an issue of philosophy—it’s an issue of effort. Considering the financial benefits an advisor stands to gain by becoming an RIA, isn’t the slight inconvenience of putting forth a little extra effort worth it in the long run?

Yes, and here’s why: Take an advisor who’s currently a $500,000-producer, for example. By becoming an RIA, he or she can:

  • Improve payout from 75% net to 90% net, which equates to an uptick in annual income of $75,000.
  • Reduce the amount of corporate oversight by his or her broker dealer (an additional layer of expense, either actual or one incurred by effort).
  • Gain more control of his or her own destiny, as well as the destiny of the clients this person serves.

In other words, the RIA scenario is simply better.

So why wouldn’t an advisor choose it? Because of a little housekeeping?

Now, I acknowledge that my bold statements may shock or offend some advisors, that is not my intention. Some may even be thinking, not wanting to make a change does not mean I am lazy. And maybe that’s true. There are a minority of folks who are not deterred by the busy work, rather they have a legitimate reason that’s holding them back. The truth is though, in more cases than not, based on the many advisors I’ve spoken to, it truly is an issue of laziness.

I raise this topic today not to insult you, but to caution you: when considering making a change to the RIA space, base your decision on your most foundational issues, like what’s best for your career, your clients or your family—and not on how hard you might have to work over a six- or nine-month transition period. Don’t let laziness infiltrate your decision process. Talk to our team today about joining an RIA.

Key Client Fiduciary Advisors, LLC (“KCFA”) is an SEC-registered investment adviser located in Fairfield, New Jersey.  This blog post is limited to the dissemination of general information pertaining to KCFA’s investment advisory services.  The information in this blog post should not be construed as personalized individual advice.  A copy of our KCFA’s written disclosure statement as set forth on Form ADV, discussing KCFA’s business operations, services and fees is available upon written request.