August 1, 2010
There are many clients for whom I was paid an inital commission to choose muutal funds many years ago. At the time, like many other advisors, I never thought about the limits of my responsibility. If someone asked, I'd run a retirement needs projection, or talk to them about many other planning matters -- never getting paid anything. The small amount of 12B-1 fees allowed me to justify continuing to help people who I would otherwise not pursue were they not already my cleints.
The industry thinks in terms of High Net Worth clients. Many of us still work with smaller clients -- we may not pursue them, but we do not wish to turn anyone away.
I wonder what will happen to those people if the 12b-1's go away. Must we send them away? Must we, otherwise, convert everyone to ongoing advisory fees? Some people do not require the services that would justify that kind of expense.