An ominous trend: broker-dealers dissolving rather than go through the trouble of finding a buyer to take over the business.
Harold C. Brown & Co. was small -- barely $2.4 million in reported AUM -- but its 13 advisors were content to keep the firm alive until recently.
The firm's Buffalo lease was coming up in May and it seems to have been too much trouble to find a new space, so they split up.
Some are going to Raymond James, United Capital, and Wells Fargo.
They're taking their clients with them, so this is not so much a case of toxic assets poisoning the AUM -- the firm relied on conventional stocks and bonds anyway.
But if the firm itself had no intrinsic value beyond its AUM, it's still an object lesson.
Is your business worth more than your clientele? When you retire, the more proprietary processes, techniques, and even products you have created, the more it will be worth to a prospective buyer.