News & Insights

Fight the Corrupt Dinosaurs: 3 Tips for Rapid Business Growth

by Elliot Weissbluth on September 13, 2017

For the sixth straight year, HighTower made Inc.’s list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. The winning streak qualifies us for the magazine’s Honor Roll, a distinction gained by less than 10% of honorees. Here are 3 lessons on how we did it:

1)     Disrupt the corrupt establishment

Humans are wired to seek meaning from their lives. Take on the corrupt establishment in your industry to give your team a true sense of purpose.

We founded HighTower on the belief that financial advisors shouldn’t lie to and steal from consumers. Wall Street brokers sometimes swindle clients by charging undisclosed fees and selling overpriced in-house products. The problem is that many investors still don’t know they’re getting ripped off.

According to a recent Personal Capital (PC) poll, 46% of Americans believe financial professionals are always required to act in their clients’ best interests. Disgracefully, they’re not. Many retirement assets are still managed by shady salespeople who aren’t obligated to put basic honesty before profit.

All HighTower advisors are fiduciaries. We don’t manufacture and sell our own products. And we drive down prices by forcing vendors to compete for our business.

We believed doing the right thing could also be a successful business model. We were right.

2)     Build trust through transparency

Wall Street has become synonymous with greed in the eyes of consumers. A culture exists in the industry that if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying. As a result, Americans have serious trust issues when it comes to money.

According to the PC poll, 32% of Americans believe a financial advisor is likely to take advantage of them. Nearly half of Americans who don’t have a financial advisor cite a lack of trust as the reason why.

Skepticism runs even deeper with younger Americans. Only 35% of respondents under the age of 65 believe financial advisors are the best source of advice on money issues. Who can blame them? Even the tobacco industry is more transparent than Wall Street.

Running our business ethically isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also in our self-interest – 78% of Americans would strongly consider switching financial institutions if theirs was involved in a scandal.

3)     Embrace change

Don’t get married to every aspect of your business model. Just because a strategy works today doesn’t mean it will work tomorrow. Position your business for the future.

For HighTower, embracing change means increasing the number of ways financial advisors can affiliate with us. We now provide advisory teams with top-to-bottom, turnkey solutions for going independent..

For HighTower, embracing change also means thinking three steps ahead. We were fiduciaries before it was the latest fad. Putting clients’ best interests first is part of our firm’s DNA.

Don’t be stubborn. Stay nimble to avoid becoming the dinosaur.

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Six years on the Inc. 5000 list is great, but we’re just getting started. What are your keys to sustainable business growth?

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

# Business growth Corporate establishment Dinosaur Inc. Transparency

HighTower Advisors is registered with HighTower Securities, LLC, member FINRA and SIPC, and with HighTower Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor with the SEC. Securities are offered through HighTower Securities, LLC; advisory services are offered through HighTower Advisors, LLC.

This is not an offer to buy or sell securities. No investment process is free of risk, and there is no guarantee that the investment process or the investment opportunities referenced herein will be profitable. Past performance is not indicative of current or future performance and is not a guarantee. The investment opportunities referenced herein may not be suitable for all investors.

All data and information reference herein are from sources believed to be reliable. Any opinions, news, research, analyses, prices, or other information contained in this research is provided as general market commentary, it does not constitute investment advice. The team and HighTower shall not in any way be liable for claims, and make no expressed or implied representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the data and other information, or for statements or errors contained in or omissions from the obtained data and information referenced herein. The data and information are provided as of the date referenced. Such data and information are subject to change without notice.

This document was created for informational purposes only; the opinions expressed are solely those of the team and do not represent those of HighTower Advisors, LLC, or any of its affiliates.