With the rise of the robo advisor — and fintech more generally — debate has swirled around whether the traditional 1% AUM fee can endure. The issue cuts to the heart of the advisory business, as brokers seek CFP marks to better justify their value proposition and longtime advisors confront a suddenly crowded marketplace.

But the broader debate seems to miss a fundamental point. The real pressure is not on the 1% AUM fee itself, but on salespeople to shift the value proposition of the AUM fee from the distribution end to the actual, dispensed advice — the kind that investors will gladly pay for.

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