Earlier this year, I mentioned there were going to be big changes in 2020. I was hinting about our change of clearing firm from First Clearing/Wells Fargo Clearing to RBC and not the various lifestyle changes necessitated by COVID-19. I do want to provide you with some of the reasons we made this change.
Technology tools – RBC provides us access to several best-in-class tools across a broad range of areas, including financial planning (Money Guide Pro), risk analysis (Riskalyze), data aggregation (Circle Black), and many more. In some instances, I’ve already begun using these tools with clients even though we don’t officially begin with RBC until the end of the month. Also, their system is web-based, so should we be required to work from home again, it will be easier to provide excellent customer service.
Product availability – RBC as a global brand has a broad availability of investment products for our clients, especially on the fee based (advisory) platform. In partnership with Envestnet, RBC gives us access to multitudes of investment managers.
Name quality – You are probably aware that Wells Fargo has had a few legal and ethical issues in the last several years. There have been advisors at our firm who have clients leave or prospects choose to work with another firm because of the Wells Fargo name.
Future security – Wells Fargo has seen a lot of firms like ours, as well as their internal advisors, leave for greener pastures over the past several years. Internally, there was a serious concern that they would leave the clearing business in the near future. It made a lot of sense to leave now when it was our choice rather than having it forced upon us in a few years.
We did not enter this new agreement lightly. We knew it would be, at best, an annoyance for Centennial clients. We feel we reached a point where the benefits outweigh the pain of leaving. In an effort to make the transition as smooth as possible, I will be doing a new video in early August covering how to read RBC’s statements, access accounts online, and other logistical issues. If there are additional topics you would like me to cover, please email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (616-942-7680) and I will be sure to address them.