A recent Dow Jones article discusses how Merrill Lynch is looking to reduce non-producing advisors.
“But starting at the end of 2011, advisors with 10 or more years of experience, producing less than $250,000 in annual client commissions and fees will be pulled from the advisor ranks, according to people at the firm. This is the first time Merrill Lynch has implemented a flat production minimum.” http://www.fa-mag.com/fa-news/6506-merrill-lynch-will-oust-low-producing-vets-sources-say.html
In my opinion, the landscape of products and advice is beginning to shift. As advisors begin to earn less money through commissions and fees, they will need to change their business models to support only those clients that are profitable for them. This is where the “average Joe” could be left out of the advice and planning process.
However, when you pay for financial advice on a fee-only basis, the planner can work for you. Fee-only planners can give advice that addresses your needs, while not being concerned about keeping a job if your account doesn’t earn hefty commissions. You can use a discount brokerage for some transactions to help keep your costs low. This is one reason you should have a fee-only planner working with you.