Industry watchers say 2012 will bring market volatility to the advisor's doorstep at a time when many clients are entering their golden (read distribution) years. And all the while, bank advisors will be seeking to smooth out their own cash flows with a greater emphasis on fee-based business.

Banks have been slow to embrace fee income and recurring revenues, and even slower to let transactional business slide, according to observers. But those trends have accelerated in the past year and will continue to gain steam this year. "More fee income is a primary goal for banks for 2012, especially managed money, fee-based businesses," says industry consultant Jack Cramer. He added, "2012 is the year of advice."

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