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- December 1, 2016; Vol. 3, Number 12

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That Conversation about Client Fees: United Capital CEO Joe Duran is seeing more client pushback on fees and thinks many advisers are doing a poor job of explaining and delivering their value

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Q: You were recently involved in a lively discussion about pricing and the fact that more advisers are feeling the pressure to have conversations about fees with their clients. That became a hot topic for you at a recent event you attended. Tell us about that. A: A few weeks ago, I was in Connecticut meeting with a firm that just joined our network, and for the first time in my career, I had multiple people asking questions about cost. I had shared that I thought that the equity markets were not going to be as good as they’ve been in the past, that we might not be surprised to see a 3 percent to 6 percent equity return for the next five years or so. Everyone knows fixed incomes are one-and-a-half percent, and they said, I don’t feel like we should be paying you 1 percent. It was fine paying you that much when the markets were going up 15 percent and fixed income was at 6 percent. But I feel like we should be paying you less.

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