Inventive Responses To Fee Compression From Five Practitioners Hot

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  • John Dragstrem, CFP, a principal at Wheaton Wealth Partners in Wheaton, Ill., who formerly had served as chief information officer at Nuveen, is a technologist and CFP practitioner. He and his partners, who started up an RIA two years ago and manage $100 million, are building their practice by using mind maps as the hub for client communications. With an engineering and programming background, Dragstrem is methodically building an innovative new paradigm for client communications and services. 
  • Allan Roth, CFP, the Serpico of Certified Financial Planning, is a Wall Street Journal blogger who I’ve written about in the past two weeks for calling out the CFP Board on its position on the fiduciary standard. While that dustup is probably the way you’ve been introduced to him, Roth is a fervent and articulate spokesman or delivering hourly advice. Roth is a fiercely independent thinker and an important  new voice in the evolution of a professional business model where advisors are paid  by the hour.
  • Alex Murguia, CEO of McLean Asset Management Corp., holds a Ph.D. in Psychology, and he is reinventing the way financial advice can be delivered. In addition to running McLean Asset Management, which manages about one-half billion dollars, Murguia founded Instream Solutions. InStream makes an online system to alert advisors to everyday financial problems client are facing more proactively than ever before. Murguia is behind the development of a scalable online advice system that quickly lured 1,000 users.
  • Philip Benson, at 63, is in his third career. Benson started out in New York City making facial prosthetics, a developing medical specialty, then led sales nationally for a manufacturer of devices used by anesthesiologists. In 2000, after managing his own portfolio for years, Benson joined Merrill Lynch and received a Certified Financial Manager designation. In 2003, Benson dropped his securities licenses and started managing money as a fee-only fiduciary for some of the people he worked with over the years. His eponymous San Francisco firm now manages $40 million and is embracing the Web to become more efficient and expand his financial planning and RIA.
  • Lou Stanasolovich, CFP, has been a thought leader in the financial advice field for nearly two decades. Stanasolovich, who runs Legend Financial Advisors, which manages about $350 million, is a hands-on manager with a history of inventive ideas to make his firm more efficient and market his firm’s financial planning and investment management, including hiring interns and giving them a career-path, offering advice on low-cost mutual funds and ETFs that perform like alternative investments, creating newsletters with investment advice.  


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