Crack Pic

Client Money on Crack

If you’re a financial adviser, there’s nothing like securities-based loans to get clients to love you. Or to hate your guts when things don’t go as planned. I’m referring specifically to “non-purpose” credit secured by stocks, bonds, and other eligible assets. In general these loans can be used to finance anything except for the purchase […]


Adviser Alpha

The Looming Test for “Adviser Alpha”

A not-so-funny thing happened over the holidays. I was kicking around the Street, trying to understand the many ways financial advisers can deliver exceptional value to their clients. What I uncovered was a cautionary tale about the next bear market. Why this one, whenever it comes, will test traditional wealth managers to the full extent […]


No Man's Land

A No Man’s Land of Wealth Management

“I’ve saved my clients millions in estate taxes,” the financial adviser said. Over a few rounds of Christmas cheer, we were discussing the many ways traditional advisers help their clients. For the most part, we focused on estate planning: grantor retained annuity trusts, dynasty trusts, family foundations or the benefits of paying tuition for grandkids. […]


"Glittery thrillers about fiscal malfeasance... his own improbably sexy genre."
~ Janet Maslin, The New York Times