Every year brings an assorted set of unique, often unpredictable obstacles. Thus far, 2022 has been no different.
This year’s challenges may not have been as transformative as the pandemic and the sudden shift to remote work. Nor were they as calamitous as the financial crisis. Still, they were nonetheless daunting, with the industry facing a host of threats on multiple fronts. However, the independent financial services industry has once again proved its resiliency.
A Volatile Investing Environment
On the service side, millions of investors nationwide have been stung by the impact of red-hot inflation, including rapidly escalating interest rates and rumbling bond and equity markets.
Advisors have undoubtedly felt the weight of their clients’ concerns and apprehensions during this time. I have no doubt, though, that every one of you has passed this most recent test with flying colors, providing superior service and support helping keep clients on track to achieve their long-term financial goals.
Indeed, this period has again highlighted the importance of investors having access to quality, professional and unconflicted financial advice.
Department of Labor Takes on Independent Contractor Classification … Again
As if the above issues weren’t enough to deal with, the Department of Labor created an additional hurdle. In October, it filed a rule proposal that will put the independent contractor status of independent advisors, a hallmark of the business model, once again into question.
We are busy at work making your voices heard on this issue. We will use every advocacy tool at our disposal to ensure that the department – and other policymakers around the country – understand that independent financial advisors do not want to be anyone’s employee.
Strength in Numbers
On this and many other issues, we ask for your help, both now and going forward. When lawmakers hear our collective voice, it can make a huge difference.
Thus far this year, we have hosted dozens of meetings with members of Congress and their staff, and in the months ahead, we plan to schedule many more like them. I encourage members to participate when the opportunity arises.
Such gatherings are crucial, serving to educate elected officials about how policies that, on the surface, may not seem to affect the industry significantly (i.e., independent contractor rules) can have an outsized impact on our members and their clients.
What’s more, while there may be some cynicism toward the political environment in Washington, D.C., for most lawmakers hearing from their constituents directly remains crucial as they develop and evaluate legislation.
Meanwhile, I look forward to getting together with our member firm executives at OneVoice next month. This year’s event will be held January 23-25 at the picturesque JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, California.
OneVoice has always been a great opportunity to re-charge, network with peers and discuss the most important issues impacting the industry. This year will be no different.
We have an exciting and educational agenda lined up, including noted author Heather E. McGowan (The New Way of Work is Already Here) as the keynote speaker. And as an added bonus, the schedule has been arranged to provide attendees more time to connect and experience local offerings than ever before. If you still need to register, I invite you to do so now.
Also, regularly check our Events Calendar for upcoming in-person and virtual events, workshops and webinars.
Thank you for your continued support and engagement.