Advisors & Compliance: Why is it us against them?




I'm a bit of a woman on the edge right now.


This has been a rough week for me with getting things approved by compliance. For anyone who works in the financial industry you know that marketing your business in any way can feel like an uphill battle. And as a person who solely works with advisors I'm well aware of this - that's a big part of the reason why I have a job. I'm willing to work on the compliance piece of it so that you don't have to.


Here's the thing. There will always be regulations and they will always be changing. Yes, I understand why (for the most part). Yes, it's frustrating. Yes, it keeps many advisors from even attempting to market their business.


I realized today that every day I go into my office, I'm armed for battle. I tell my clients, "I'm here to advocate for you and try to market you the best way possible within the boundaries of compliance." I know that half of what we try to do - whether it's effective email marketing or trying to create videos - will be met with resistance from the broker-dealer.


But - in really thinking about it - I'm beginning to understand how completely messed up this system is.


What the broker-dealers are doing are following the rules. FINRA comes up with something new and you don't have a choice.


What the broker-dealers AREN'T doing is giving the advisors the tools they need to successfully market themselves within the boundaries of compliance. So, when it comes to marketing, there is an "us vs. them" mentality - it's the advisor against their own broker-dealer.


What a terrible way to work.


For a moment I envisioned a system where the broker-dealers didn't seem to work AGAINST their own advisors, but FOR them. That makes sense, right? If an advisor successfully markets their business and it grows, everyone wins.


And imagine how wonderful it would be to have a broker-dealer who fostered a "we want to do everything we can to help you" atmosphere rather than "we're going to (sometimes arbitrarily) deny most of what you submit to us."


The last few days I've been feeling like a one woman army trying to get even the simplest things approved. Even an article that was approved by a broker-dealer was denied when I tried to post it on an advisor's social media feed - go figure that one out. And I know that many advisors who are not only trying to run a business but also market it might feel the same way.


It makes me want to throw my hands up and give up. It makes me question why I do this in the first place.


And the answer always comes down to the same thing: I want to help advisors who want to help people have a more secure financial future. I want to help advisors get their services out there so that anyone looking for assistance can find the right person. I just want to help.


Just like the advisor.

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