JAN 2, 2022 **UPDATE**
Effective SUNDAY JANUARY 2, 2022, the rate floor will be adjusted to $280/hr. Advisor rates and additional charges may vary. Each advisor profile will be up-to-date with their requested rate. AGAIN, contrary to popular misconceptions and online disinformation, these adjustments based on **BASED ON PROVIDER REQUESTS**. We have always been the most reactive to market changes, never have we initiated any adjustments. For transparency, we have retained below the full change history of adjustments.
JULY 6 UPDATE
Effective TUESDAY JULY 6, the rate floor will be adjusted to $260/hr. Advisor rates may vary. Each advisor profile will be up-to-date with their requested rate. Feel free to see the entire history of our updates since Jan 19, 2021. We have preserved each update for transparency. If there is too much text to read, all the text in orange on this page are the main points.
Additionally, If clients care to read it, here are some additional comments to clear up some gross misconceptions about where we stand regarding recent rate adjustments:
- These rate adjustments are in direct response to advisor requests.
- We have and will always supported advisor requests for rate adjustments.
- While we may have had individually adjusted rates(advisor requested) before any major market adjustments, overall our adjustments remained reactive.
- We never believed that rates should be all inclusive: Some advisors simply did so on their own accord.
- Regardless of any specific advisor requests, our booking(aka “house”) fees have always remained at a flat rate. Any additional adjustments have been made at the request of, and for the full benefit of the independent advisor.
- A major point that seems to escape many clients: all advisors are essentially independent and at will; free to move to any firm or metro where compensation is more desirable. What the advisors request directly affects the market rate in any area.
- Warning to all clients: A vocal minority has turned misconceptions into downright misinformation. If it is not posted here, anything you read online is unauthorized and should simply be ignored. If you have questions, our verified clients know full well, they can ask us. Anonymous online mediums simply do not afford us the respect nor opportunity of meaningful two-way discourse.
JUN 22 UPDATE
Please note all rates on the site are only posted with the approval/acknowledgement of the advisor. These are negotiated rates affected by: the market; specific advisor requests; and/or other special considerations. All advisors are independent and at will, and thus free to set their own individual rates and services. Rates should not be taken as a standard for comparison with other advisors neither here, nor in any other market. Advisor rates may vary.
Our independent advisors each offer individualized services based on their investment experiences. Some may offer an all-inclusive experience, while some prefer a customizable experience. Some may include value-added services, while some may itemize their certifications and services at additional charge. [(Some may not include any value-added services at all)edit: July 6 2021], Not all advisors choose to list their services and certifications; not all advisors choose to offer the same services.
Some recently popular certifications/services include(not exhaustive):
- General Financial Experience (GFE)
- Preferred Shareholder Experience (PSE) w/ or w/o Certified Investment Professional (CIP) Certification
- Market Solution Online Guide (MSOG)
If you don’t see a certificate/service listed for your advisor, just ask your advisor. You are booking the time, then It is between you and the advisor to come to a consensual agreement on services. Schedule some time and get to know your advisor.
FEB 5 UPDATE
Effective MONDAY FEB 8, the rate FLOOR will be adjusted to $240/hr. Advisor rates may vary. Each advisor profile will be up-to-date with the current Market Rate Adjusted(mra) rate.
Increasing pressure from advisors and increases made by other local investment firms contributed to the rate adjustment.
Prior to any recent discussion of adjustments in the SF Bay Area market, we already have clear examples where an appropriate market rate adjustment has satisfied both advisor and client needs. Additionally, we have past examples where the lack of a market rate adjustment has caused sought-after advisors to leave the SF Bay Area. However these may be anecdotal and may not reflect the dynamics of the market as a whole.
Despite any theories, hearsay, or individual anecdotes about market dynamics, one simple fact remains. Prospective(new) advisors or previous(returning) advisors simply will not come to the SF Bay Area without an adjusted rate.
JAN 19 UPDATE
The pay disparity in our local market drives away existing advisors, and makes the SF Bay Area the least attractive metro to prospective advisors. SF Bay Area has the reputation for having higher, if not the highest, service expectations and least compensation than anywhere else in the country. There are anecdotal examples where the opposite might be true, but generally does not affect the overall reputation of the SF Bay Area market.
Advisors want to be paid the same that advisors in other metros are being paid. Prospective advisors have been requesting a market rate adjustment to keep compensation opportunities competitive for the work they already do. A fair market rate adjustment matches compensation opportunities with the level of engagement already provided. This market rate adjustment does not include any additional services. It’s important to note, rates are for time only.
According to recent market data analysis*, this market rate adjustment is long overdue. Whether advisors decide to adjust rates or not, we will work with the advisors toward a more equitable and competitive market for the SF Bay Area. If interested, see below for more details about the market data analysis.
*Market Data Analysis shows that:
- This Market Rate Adjustment is Competitive
- This Market Rate Adjustment is Fair
- This market Rate Adjustment is Timely
An overall analysis of the market reveals that advisors in the SF Bay Area are under-compensated for similar levels of engagement and performance standards in other major metros. Analyzing reviews and forums, we see a direct correlation between improved experiences and the market rate adjustments that have already occurred in other metros (EX: ~12% adjustment in LA 250 –> 280 for standard basic services)
Undercutting practices in SF Bay Area encourages the promotion of one-off/value-added services at no extra charge(free extras). Due to high competitiveness, these service augmentations have become “expected” or “all inclusive” and thus keep the market rate artificially low in the SF Bay Area.
Advisors have begun to charge appropriately for services and augmentations that previously may have been taken for granted. Market trends are beginning to head toward more equitable and competitive compensation opportunities for advisors. Many other markets now have upcharges for service augmentations.
Comparison of other major metro websites/forums shows the SF Bay Area is way behind in competitive compensation:
- SoCal (LA/OC/SD): 260/280 Standard, potential augmentations @ +40, +100, Varies
- Seattle: 350 Standard, unknown potential augmentations
- East Coast (NY, VA, DC, GA): 280/300 Standard, unknown potential augmentations
- Texas: 280/300 Standard, unknown potential augmentations
- SF Bay Area: 220 Standard, many augmentations expected for free, some @ +20, +40, +60, Varies
The last recorded market rate adjustment of 10% in the SF Bay Area (200/hr –> 220/hr) occurred in mid 2016. Mean Wage and Salary accruals per full-time equivalent employee adjusted roughly 10% from 2016 – 2019 (60872/yr –> 66778/yr). This is an overall figure of CA wages. Different sectors would likely enjoy greater adjustments (tech, finance, etc). This recent 2021 market rate adjustment (220/hr –> 240/hr) since 2016 is 9%. This market rate adjustment seems fair and timely.
Anybody who finds themselves being underpaid for doing the same work as their cohorts would request the same market rate adjustment or move somewhere else with more competitive opportunities. This likely parallels the issue of compensation in all of our lives, and most certainly applies to advisors in SF Bay Area.
*Market Data Analysis sources
- Analysis from review sites/forums
- Direct competitive analysis of sites in other metros
- Direct advisor feedback
- Direct client feedback
- Historical Analysis