Have you heard the news that RIAs are facing a grave threat to their businesses? I suspect you have. At industry conferences, presenters tell us how to cope with the increasing regulatory burden without diminishing your client service. Software companies are programming ways for you to protect yourself against an audit rather than offering better solutions to clients' financial challenges. At the Technology Tools for Today Conference in February, a paperless office presentation focused on better retrieval of the paperwork demands you will face when the auditors come knocking.

Compliance obligations have become the dark cloud over the profession's future, to the point where, in hallway conversations, we routinely hear veteran advisors say they plan to retire when the burden becomes too great. Younger advisors say they're looking for ways to get the scale to afford the increased demands we all see coming.

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