With all the controversy surrounding the use of performance enhancing drugs by professional athletes, it would seem strange to advocate that financial advisers should emulate them. I certainly don’t suggest that our profession take on the “win at any cost” mentality that pervades sports. But, there is one area where I think the practices of sports teams can help our profession.
I reached this conclusion when my son sent me this photograph of two European ice hockey players.
Like NASCAR drivers in the US, the uniforms these athletes wear carry the names of their sponsors. There is hardly any room left to identify the skater’s numbers!
Wouldn’t it be nice if consumers enjoyed the same kind of disclosure when they sat with their financial adviser? Instead of the sincere, dark suit, advisers would have to wear the logos of all of the financial firms who pay them to distribute products and services. Of course, size and placement of logos would be proportionate to the amount of compensation the adviser earned from each vendor. Some would get the coveted center chest or arm positions while others would be delegated to a small logo on the advisors socks. I envision the kind of hats worn by cyclists emblazoned with company logos. I suppose some advisers would need to change these caps several times during client meetings in order to accommodate all of their sponsors.
There would be a two-fold benefit as consumers could tell at a glance who the financial adviser is really working for and advisers would save a bundle on clothing for work. Sounds like a “Win – Win” to me.