Our transition to RIA is almost complete. Before I go any further, I want to thank our clients who stayed the course, your loyalty and trust will never be forgotten and we will continue to earn it every day. We are honored to have been able to lower the fees, especially in this inflationary environment.
As a Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm, we are now completely free of any conflicts of interest, soft dollar arrangements, or any of the other disclosures the Broker-Dealer or Hybrid Broker-Dealer/Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firms have. An example of soft dollar arrangements that I often see is client events that feature fund-representative speakers. These funds pay a portion or all of the cost of the event to get in front of you and make their pitch. They wouldn’t do it if there wasn’t a financial benefit for them to do so. Another example of conflicts of interest is that many BDs and Hybrids only offer certain funds and share classes. Fund companies pay them for the opportunity to have their advisors sell their funds to clients. Since there are no free rides, especially on Wall Street, the clients end up paying more in expenses of the fund. You don’t always see it, except in your returns.
I have also seen many hybrid advisors claim that being hybrid allows them to offer products like annuities and 529 plans. As an RIA, we too can offer fee-only annuities and 529 plans. The fact that so many advisors are ditching the broker-dealer commissions, insurance companies, and 529 plans don’t want to lose out on the business. 1600 advisors make the switch every year, that’s a lot of business.
All of what I have just shared with you can be found in any advisor or advisor firm's ADV, which is a public disclosure that must be sent to you every year. It is a shame more people don’t read it and ask questions. I am honored that CochranMickels Retirement Specialists, LLC has no such disclosures. It is very clear in our disclosure who we work for. If transparency is important to you, give us a call at 256-417-4870. We are honored to have that discussion!
Mike Mickels is the President and Chief Compliance Officer of CochranMickels Retirement Specialists, LLC and an avid sporting clay competitor. CochranMickels Retirement Specialists provides personalized planning and investment services to individuals approaching and in retirement.