Around the RIA Web with Adhesion, March Edition

A few great reads from the month of March, highlighting some of the key conversations we’re having with advisors. Growth, technology, investment design, outsourcing, recruiting, compliance…all are key discussion points for RIA firms and we share the following for your own discussions:

We had a host of DOL-related articles prepping for the forthcoming proposal, but now that it’s here it makes more sense to replace the March speculation with April reality. Summaries from Investment News and Wealth Management look to be the best so far, with revisions sure to spark both relief and disappointment on all sides. This nifty graphic from the DOL outlines the changes from the original proposal to the final edition.

Clear communication is a key part of attracting clients to any service business, but most of us fall short of the “clear” part. Farnam Street summarizes the latest from Steven Pinker into some key tips on better writing.

Newfound Research on ETF apples and oranges, cost matters but it’s equally important to understand what lies under the hood.

Cybersecurity is not only smart business for an RIA, but an issue now being monitored by the SEC. TDA4Advisors on keeping your firm safe from a security breach.

Most of our dealings are with growth-oriented firms, as a Unified Managed Account(UMA) platform provides a wonderful solution for integrating new business. As shown by Schwab Advisor Services, acquisitions are occurring at an unprecedented pace.

The value of a good advisor cannot be overstated. Sheryl Rowling shares how deeper relationships are at the heart of mutually beneficial holistic planning.

Speaking of holistic planning, investors are often caught using the wrong yardstick for performance. Ben Carlson shares some common sense ideas on more appropriate benchmarking.

Interesting look at the inadvertent launch, and near failure, of the ETF industry. From a possible remedy for market volatility, to a starring role in triggering volatility, this excerpt from Eric Balchunas reveals a fascinating tale of incentives and unintended consequences.

“When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” Thought-provoking piece on the impact of index investing via Patrick O’Shaughnessy.

Tadas Viskanta even gives us an outlet when away. One of his questions to bloggers confirms that no one likes the term “smart beta”, but does anyone like the concept? Here are three good reads on the subject, from Michael Batnick to Benjamin Lavine to Wes Gray. And frankly, the whole Abnormal Returns series from that week will provoke thought amongst advisors.

A unique way to view asset allocation methodologies via Mark Rzepczynski, if your advice goes beyond Modern Portfolio Theory it makes sense to define and communicate how that advice differs from others.

40 of the Most Important Charts in the World via Business Insider, some more useful than others but certain to fit just about any Wall Street media narrative.

Adhesion continues to work behind the scenes in helping advisors grow, with new options allowing the integration of Outsourced CIO implementation via Mercer and robo technology via Riskalyze. We welcome your feedback at, and encourage you to subscribe on the upper right of this page to receive our regular blog updates.

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