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HD Vest Financial Services

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#1
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44
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2-Jun-2014 7:20pm
Location:
California
Can anyone here comment on HD Vest? Anyone here who is a CPA or EA and have a series 7 & 66 license and offer tax preparation and financial planning? I am researching options to add nonseasonal work to a small solo tax practice and I'm considering pitching investment advisory services. Would like to here any feedback.
 

#2
ATSMAN  
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1969
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31-May-2014 8:34pm
Location:
MA
After getting those postcards for many years, i did return one of them for more information and spoke to someone in Texas.

It was going to cost me a few thousands to get series 7 licensed and I would have to pay an annual fee plus split my commissions with them. I think they offered a free training seminar in Texas but you had to pay your way there.

A client of mine who worked for ING told me that his company paid for the training and licensing as long as you passedd the test and met a min production requirement to keep your broker's contract alive. They did take a haircut from the gross commissions. I never pursued any further because I was generally busy with other work during off season.
 

#3
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1240
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22-Apr-2014 5:22pm
Location:
Upstate, NY
Randolph.....how about adding bookkeeping services or payroll services?? Yes, it ties you down a bit and you need a backup person but the revenue stream is huge on the payroll side. I have been slowly growing my payroll practice over the last 10 years and now it is almost as fruitful from a revenue standpoint as my tax practice. I only handle local small employers. The learning curve is minimal and there are tons of resources out there to train yourself.
 

#4
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199
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21-Apr-2014 6:22am
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Austin, Texas
Randolph, in most states you can be an investment adviser by having either a series 7/66 or a series 65. The nice thing about the 65 is that you don't need a sponsor in order to obtain the licence. I suggest that you look at the CA securities website to see if the 65 is an option for you.
 

#5
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44
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Thanks to all for your input. I am still undecided as to what non seasonal work I want to add. In my area of the country the competition for tax/bookkeeping and bookkeeping/payroll is so thick. I was thinking I would try something different. I may continue my Quickbooks training and go for the advanced pro advisor, so I can do more with bookkeeping.

I have been sort of thinking outside the box, to maybe combine tax and financial planning to a niche market. Perhaps in time, the experience could count towards CFP certification. But I'm not in a position to spend thousands on another exam.
 

#6
Preppie  
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290
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6-May-2015 6:23am
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Virginia
The series 65 exam costs $155. I took it earlier this month. I spent $135 on study materials from PassPerfect and passed on the first attempt.

It's compliance that's a killer. Looking like about $2500-ish to have an expert generate the Virginia-required documentation to get legal. I'm sure writing my own cyber security manual would be great fun, but who has the time?
 

#7
eze  
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237
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8-May-2014 7:02pm
Location:
Grey Area, California
I replied to their mailer and got their agreement. I couldn't get past their indemnification terms......meaning if they get sued by one of my contacts....I have to fund their lawsuit defense....no thanks.

To be fair to HD Vest, this wording is very common, and I just refuse to get involved in any agreement with indemnifications.....hold-harmless, no problem.....indemnifications, no way.
 

#8
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50
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14-May-2015 12:39pm
Location:
New Jersey
I am an enrolled agent with my Series 7 and Series 66 and joined HDVest 8+ years ago, simply to keep my licenses "Active" after I left the financial industry. I've been pretty much inactive until the last year or so bc, like everyone else, I was just too busy with the tax side of things to even consider getting my feet wet on the financial planning side; plus we USED to have a large number of payroll clients that kept us very busy.

I wish I had, instead, eliminated our payroll services (I loathe having to deal with payroll, despite the steady income) and focused on the financial planning aspect from day one.

In the past year, I built a tiny book of clients and have just about $10 million in "assets under management". All of these guys are tax clients; mainly the small business owners, retirees, and those who rolled over retirement accounts. This was done WITHOUT me soliciting my services; I'd say 90% of my financial clients sought me out on their own.

Without getting into numbers; your book of tax clients is HIGHLY VALUABLE to a typical financial planner. How many of us have been solicited by CFPs to share our client database with them?

HDVest, has a very organized support team and a wide range of investment products that can meet the needs of every investor. You are assigned a "wealth management" specialist who basically does the legwork in helping clients find the right fit.

Something to think about if you think it can suit your needs.
 

#9
KwdCPA  
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6
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8-Jul-2015 3:54am
Location:
Texas
sorry for joining this thread so late. Only recently discovered this site after huge time gap from participating on predecessor site several years ago.

If you are serious about offering financial planning services, this is a superb opportunity for your clients and you. And in my opinion, HD Vest is the best B-D for tax pros. The combination of tax + financial planning + implementation is a most natural combination, and gives you a clear and obvious positioning advantage over Merrill Lynch et al. Clients recognize this and love it. I evolved from tax practice > tax practice that also did financial planning/implementation > financial planning firm that also does tax prep/tax planning. I cannot recommend this more strongly. I have (and continue to) mentor dozens who added this to an established tax practice.
 

#10
philly  
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1420
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14-Sep-2014 4:48am
Location:
New York
I am a CPA and CFP and have been with HD vest for a few years. HD is a very good B-D for tax professionals. I attend local meetings on a regular basis which provides good support.
Being a full time CPA with an active practice presents the problem of time management. I have a small book of investment business and I feel that I just do not have the available time to add financial planning on a full time basis.
I know several CPAs that have added financial planning to their practices and have been very successful.
The key is time management and a good in house support staff.
 

#11
MW_EA  
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74
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31-Jan-2015 11:14am
Location:
United States
KwdCPA wrote:sorry for joining this thread so late. Only recently discovered this site after huge time gap from participating on predecessor site several years ago.

If you are serious about offering financial planning services, this is a superb opportunity for your clients and you. And in my opinion, HD Vest is the best B-D for tax pros. The combination of tax + financial planning + implementation is a most natural combination, and gives you a clear and obvious positioning advantage over Merrill Lynch et al. Clients recognize this and love it. I evolved from tax practice > tax practice that also did financial planning/implementation > financial planning firm that also does tax prep/tax planning. I cannot recommend this more strongly. I have (and continue to) mentor dozens who added this to an established tax practice.


No production minimums is a big plus for those starting out. A few downsides I found:

1. Ticket charges for trades are unusually high.
2. Payouts for commissions/fees under $100,000 GDC are low by industry standards. But they have no production requirements which is also unusual in the industry.
3. If you do any insurance business part of your financial planning processes, you have to run it through them at a greatly reduced payout.

Fees to the advisor are reasonable. Not knocking them, just part of what I found while taking a look.
 

#12
KwdCPA  
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6
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8-Jul-2015 3:54am
Location:
Texas
Like most analyses, the question usually comes down to: "Compared to what?"

Which B-D did you choose?
 

#13
MW_EA  
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74
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31-Jan-2015 11:14am
Location:
United States
As far as ticket charges, $50 is fairly high. I have been with three different B/D's in my career and I've never seen it over $20 for a stock trade. If someone is newer and on a 50% payout, you would have to charge the client $100 to place a brokerage trade just to break even. On top of that, the client gets a confirmation fee as well ($7?).

As for insurance business, running it through the grid is a serious disadvantage. Let's say I do $30,000 in target premium for the year which is not hard to do if you take a planning focus. Most independent B/D's allow you to choose your own relationship and it doesn't run through the commission grid. Without any production requirements, my contracts pay out at 95% or $28,500 on $30,000. With HD, I get street level at about 80%. It then runs through the grid. Let's pretend I'm at a 70% payout, I net $16,800. That's almost $12,000 I give up due to this requirement. The more insurance production you do, the worse it gets.

This isn't to say HD is a bad broker dealer. If you do very little insurance production and you don't manage the money yourself (use their managed money platform), then those become less of an issue. I prefer an RIA platform where I can run a leaner model the way I want (less expense to the client, more profitable to me) without the extra mark ups a broker dealer adds.
 

#14
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44
Joined:
2-Jun-2014 7:20pm
Location:
California
I'd like to hear more from those who prepare taxes and sell insurance under one roof. Pro's? Cons? What license is needed? Cost of license? Software?
 

#15
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543
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22-May-2014 1:38pm
Location:
Texas
What I have trouble wrapping my head around is being MORE responsible for my client's financial well being than I already am. I have had clients vent to me about fees, return on investments, etc.

As an RIA, are you individually responsible for the portfolio or is there back office support and how do you field those return on investment questions? Is all of this part of the 'training' or 'mentoring' programs out there?
 

#16
MW_EA  
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74
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31-Jan-2015 11:14am
Location:
United States
As an RIA, you can either manage it yourself or outsource the money management.
 


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