Broker Check

Get Access to Exclusive Content

This page is only available to members of our community. Join us today and get full access.

Thank you! Oops!
Discrimination (against the not yet wealthy) is Still Open and Common in Wealth Management

Discrimination (against the not yet wealthy) is Still Open and Common in Wealth Management

| October 16, 2018

“Small accounts” to some investment professionals means less than $250,000.00.

Some places don’t pay their advisors anything for managing such small accounts aka dreams of retirement and other important goals.

Recently, one large brokerage firm said they would cut advisor’s pay if they didn’t sell extra services to the “little” accounts. This effectively adds costs and difficulty getting things done for those who, arguably, might need the most help!

• “a warning for advisers who work with accounts of $100,000 to $250,000 — smaller households that large firms like Morgan Stanley have increasingly discouraged brokers from pursuing. Big firms want reps chasing bigger, more profitable households and clients”

• “For clients with between $100,000 and $250,000 in assets ‘who do not receive the enhanced service, advisers will receive a reduced payout of 25%’ according to the memo.”

• “Most brokers and advisors, however, just want their firms to leave them alone so they can work with clients in the way they have established over years and decades. Will Morgan Stanley's new comp plan prod the behavior of advisers and lead to more growth, for both them and the firm, or will it fizzle?”


I’m so proud to work with a group of people that doesn’t think this way. Yes, we need to manage all types of accounts (big ones too) to pay the bills and do a good job for our clients, but this doesn’t mean we should shun certain people looking for help. We take it a step further and also do pro bono work.

If you want a laugh, this phenomenon impacts the traditionally wealthy too. I met a multi-millionaire recently that didn’t feel they could get any help from their advisor. They said he only pays attention to his $10,000,000.00 accounts… True story!

So if you find yourself wanting fiduciary advice, but feel like a small fish in a big pond, think about giving us a call.

I just took a look, and almost 1/3 of my clients currently have what some big companies call “small accounts”, less than $250,000 in assets.

I treat everyone as equally as I can, and these days with our state of the art technology delivering financial planning advice is getting more efficient every day.

Thanks for taking a look!

Tom Gartner, MSAPM, CFP®

This article represents opinions of the authors and not those of their firm and are subject to change from time to time, and do not constitute a recommendation to purchase and sale any security nor to engage in any particular investment or legal strategy. The information contained here has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed for accuracy.