March 16, 2004
Let me start by telling you a little about myself. This year is my 20th year in the business. I work with all types of clients with accounts ranging from 1 million dollars down to 100 dollar custodial accounts. I work with a lot of blue collar clients to help them save for retirement and try to send their kids to college. Most of these clients make 100,000 dollars or less each year. These folks have some concerns about their future as well as their childrens future.
1. They were misled that Social Security was going to provide a retirement for them.
2. They thought if they worked for a company for 30 years or so, that the company would provide a pension for the rest of their lives.
3. They thought that if things got bad sickness or disability, the government would lend a hand before they lost everything they had worked so hard for.
These are real concerns for these people. But let me say this is only the wealthy people that I work with. This doesnt include those that dont make enough money to think about putting something away for retirement or even think about sending their children to college. this doesnt include those people who dont have a job because it was shipped to Mexico or overseas. These are people that even I dont get to work with.
The group of people that I work with are not investment savvy. These are working folks, trying to live the American Dream. These folks need someone that they trust to help them achieve their goals. Not just one time, not some generic recommendation, not some on-line software analysis, not some no-name customer service rep on the other end of a toll-free number. These folks need my help and they need it more than ever right now Not just in my office but millions of times over across the country.
The fee structures that have been in place for the last 50 years are just fine. You dont need to reduce compensation to brokers or run more of them out of business, we just need to clean up the system. Make sure that everyone is playing by the rules. The rules that were put in place a long, long time ago that have worked well for generations.
Before you go fiddling with these fees, I think you need to think long and hard about the impact of any changes on the clients that we serve. If my office and others like it are not around ten years from now, will you help my clients reach their goals?