In August 1981, a new channel called MTV made its debut appearance. Those of a certain age remember that MTV showed primarily music videos instead of reality TV. The first video was called "Video Killed the Radio Star" by a British group called The Buggles. The song lamented the end of the good-old days of radio due to the evolution of TV.
Changes in technology and regulation have also disrupted the brokerage industry's "good-old days" just as TV impacted radio, online media impacted newspapers, or the wheel impacted travel. Some brokerage firms find themselves struggling with the changes society is imposing. It used to be that you had to go to a large, "wirehouse" firm to get information about investments, or wait for the next day's newspaper (remember those?). You may not have an idea of how much a transaction would cost; the number of investment options was dramatically less than what exists today. Today, information is available online for free, and trades can be made for under $10 at some firms. So why have an advisor? See this link from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards for a few reasons.
Those that work with an advisors essentially want the same thing: achieving a goal or avoiding various risks based on a trusting relationship. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, and a hodgepodge of titles with alphabet soup designations confuses the issue (Registered Representative, CFM, CLU, CFP®, Financial Advisor, Financial Consultant, etc.).
In upcoming posts, I'll discuss a few steps you can take to suppress the noise, create clarity, and make better decisions for your financial situation.