Many Advisors Misunderstand Total Amount of Fees They Charge

August 12th, 2014, Comments Off.

Fees are often a main topic of conversation when advisors sit down to meet with their clients. But do advisors paint an accurate picture of the total cost of servicing a client’s account?

According to a new survey conducted by Peak Advisor Alliance and Cerulli Associates, many advisors do not. Nearly 63 percent of advisors surveyed believe their total fees charged on any given account are less than 1.5 percent.

In reality, the total fees charged, when taking into account all fees including product and platform fees, administrative fees and the advisor fees, are more than 30 basis points higher than what they think they actually are.

“This stat should alarm every advisor and force them to go back and look at how they are presenting their fee structure to clients,” says Ron Carson, CEO of Carson Wealth Management Group and founder of the Peak Advisor Alliance. “As an industry, we must do a better job of simplifying a complex fee structure so clients understand the value they are receiving when they work with a financial advisor.“

In 2013, an Investment Company Institute report found that investors pay an average stock and bond mutual fund expense ratio of nearly 0.79 percent. This ratio does not include all fees, including advisor and administrative fees. Nearly 50 percent of advisors responding in the latest Peak/Cerulli survey stated that their most recommended investment strategy carries a fee that is higher than 0.76 percent fee.

“I’ts dangerous to play the guessing game when trying to determine an advisor’s average expense ratio,” says Paul West, managing director, Peak Advisor Alliance. “Every fund, every platform has different fees they charge, so why shy away from them? Advisors need to stop short-changing themselves and their clients and embrace the fees, so clients better understand what services they are being charged for.”

According to a 2012 Cerulli Associates survey, 60 percent of clients do not understand how their financial advisor is charging them. “It is imperative advisors take the time to have a comprehensive conversation about the fees they are being charged. What fees are being charged is just as important to understand why the fee is being charged as well. Advisors must be transparent about the fee structure with their clients to help build trust early in the relationship,” added Carson. “If a client doesn’t know or understand the fees they are being charged they most likely will not ever fully trust their advisor, which can be toxic to the relationship in the long run.”

Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Peak Advisor Alliance is a financial advisor coaching and resources program. For more information, please visit


By Ayo Mseka





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Boomer Esiason’s Got Your Back

August 5th, 2014, Comments Off.

Boomer messageMost of us know Boomer Esiason as the former MVP quarterback and current TV sports commentator. You may also tune into his nationally syndicated radio show “Boomer & Carton.” But Boomer is so much more than his public persona. He’s also a family man who speaks movingly about the power of life insurance. That’s because when he was just 7, his mother, Irene, died of cancer without any life insurance.

“When a parent dies and there’s no life insurance, life becomes very tough, very fast,” says Boomer. “My dad, two sister and I experienced that financial hardship firsthand when my mom died.”

A message for you

While Boomer turned his talent at football into a successful career, that early life lesson stayed with him. He’s now a passionate advocate of life insurance. That’s why Life Happens, which created and has coordinated Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM) over the last 10 years, asked him to share his story for a second year.

He’s got a special message for us, as an industry, and promises, “This September, I’ve got your back!” You can watch his video here. Be sure to share the link with those you work with to get everyone on board:

And one for consumers

Plus, Boomer has a message for the public. Last year, his TV public service announcement about the importance of life insurance was in the top 8 percent of all PSAs aired nationally. This year it will again be televised from September through December.

You can watch his PSA message at, and then be sure to share it with your clients and prospects to open up the door for a conversation about life insurance. His message will resonate with those who see it because Boomer is truly passionate about protecting his family with life insurance. “I learned at an early age that no one is guaranteed a tomorrow. That’s why I’d tell all parents, ‘Just imagine if something happened to you and you hadn’t purchased life insurance. The people left behind will feel the brunt of your mistake,’” says Boomer.

Resources You Can Use

In addition to the PSA, Life Happens had created a wide range of consumer resources that feature Boomer, from a candid video, to downloadable flyers, to social media posts that you can share with prospects to get them thinking about their life insurance needs. As a NAIFA member benefit, these resources are free for you to use and distribute. To gain access, log onto your account at If you haven’t created an account yet, it just takes a moment, and be sure to choose NAIFA as your affiliated organization.

To leverage Boomer as spokesperson, you can access two new videos, which you can share or link to:

Additional Boomer resources available here:

  • Boomer’s Real Life Story downloadable flyer
  • 5 Minutes With Boomer downloadable flyer
  • Boomer’s advice to Millennials: “Taking the Next Step” downloadable flyer
  • Pre-approved quotes from Boomer for social media

These spokesperson resources, along with a whole host of additional LIAM resources, are available at Life Happens’ industry-only site at Check them out today and get a jumpstart on your LIAM plans.


By Maggie Leyes

Maggie Leyes oversees content strategy at Life Happens.


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