||The Need for Innovation
Our unique Program of consulting services support is also providing an increasingly important solution to the growing need of law firms and accounting firms to diversify their sources of revenue and to break the tyranny of traditional time based billings. And, for community banks, it offers a way for them to truly distinguish themselves in an almost entirely commoditized marketplace, where the service offerings of each appear to be very nearly identical. Our unique and comprehensive outsourced staffing solution enables these firms to broadly expand their scope of client services, and thereby their firms' sources of revenue, with very little increase in their fixed overhead. The resulting competitive advantages, revenue diversification, and significant revenue potential of this unique Program, is resulting in a surge of new Affiliations – all of which are expected to add significantly to our revenue potential and profitability.
The Basic Problem: Because of the complexity inherent in a marketplace with over 22,000 domestic mutual funds, thousands of private money management firms, and thousands of insurance products, there has been no practical way to obtain access to, much less a way to comparatively evaluate, all of these choices. As a result, investors of all types have come to depend upon stock brokers, insurance agents, and various "advisors" from the traditional financial services industry. But, in doing so, they soon realize that they lack any real ability to definitively answer the most basic and important investment selection question, which is simply this:
"Of all the available choices, which one is best for us?"
Although the question seems both simple and obvious, there has been no way to definitively answer it in today’s financial services marketplace – no way to know, at the end of any product acquisition process, whether what the investors came away with was actually "best" for them or "best" for those who recommended or sold it to them. Seemingly everyone to whom they can turn for advice in that marketplace appears to have an "agenda" – something they preferentially recommend and have been incented in some way to recommend or sell. Investors of all types are coming to realize that they are unable to protect themselves, nor can they rely on their lawyers and CPAs to protect them, from abuses within the financial services marketplace – and, in recent years, reports of those abuses and scandals have only seemed to be increasing. Certainly the need for truly independent, objective and competent advice – with true allegiance to the investing client, and not to some financial services provider – has never been greater.
And, for the very same reasons, there has been no way to answer the most basic and meaningful question involved in ongoing investment performance monitoring, which is not "how did our mutual fund or money manager do (against some index benchmark)," but instead is:
"How did our manager do relative to all the others that we could have
In a vendor dominated, traditional financial services marketplace, there has never been a practical way to definitively answer either of these two crucial questions until now, through use of CSSC’s unique, fundamentally different, and now patented investment advisory process.
While the needs of the investing public (which comprise clients of law firms, accounting firms, and banks) appear to be obvious, as well as nearly universal and increasing, the financial condition and competitive position of law firms and accounting firms is less obvious, but no less serious. Possibly at no time in living memory have these firms been more financially challenged and their survivability been more subject to doubt. And, the condition of community banks is generally viewed as weak, if not worse. The effects of the financial downturn of 2008 and early 2009 have been devastating and far reaching. Community banks are failing at an increasing rate and law firms and accounting firms are both shedding staff and merging (by necessity) at record rates. With demand for their core services having fallen off (e.g., estate planning and transaction volume has declined significantly, leaving many estate planning and business transaction attorneys struggling to find work), the needs of these firms to effectively and efficiently diversify their revenue sources seems to have never been more pressing and immediate.
And, in providing law firms, accounting firms, and community banks with a low cost way to meet the increasingly important and nearly universal need of all their clients (for truly independent and objective financial advice), with our newly patented process and unique outsource staffing structure, we are simultaneously providing these firms with potentially significant new sources of revenue, competitive advantages, and an ability to ensure their financial viability in ways never before available to them.
State of the Market: Estimated to be in excess of $24 trillion, the financial marketplace appears to be the single largest marketplace, as well as the one in which individual consumers (i.e., investors of all types) appear to have the least amount of competitive power. This marketplace has, since inception, been "vendor dominated," and the proliferation of investment and product offerings and the inability of the general investing and consuming public to comparatively evaluate them – the inability of both the general public and professional advisors (attorneys and CPAs) to answer either of the two important questions posed above, or to "look behind the curtain" to see why certain investments or products rather than others are being recommended (i.e., "why these") – has created numerous opportunities for a broad range of abuses. The continuing reports of scandals within the financial services marketplace provide not only growing proof of the extraordinary scope and extent of such abuses, they are also having the effect of eroding public trust in that industry as well as confidence in the ability of regulators to prevent such abuses. Clearly a remedy is needed, and that need appears to be both universal and rapidly growing.
In order to realistically meet such a broad-ranging need, the remedy must have an equally broad ranging availability. Side by side with this growing client need, are the growing needs of literally thousands of law firms, accounting firms, and community banks to expand and diversify their revenue sources, which they can now do by expanding the scope of their services into this important area.
The Solution: We are convinced that the remedy will not come from the traditional financial services industry, because that industry increasingly appears to be fundamentally flawed and ethically compromised by pervasive and corrupting behind-the-scenes deals and relationships that too often influence what is recommended and sold to an often naïve and uninformed public. We believe that what is needed is a totally new, and fundamentally different, approach – an approach free of such behind-the-scenes deals and relationships, and one that places the interests of the investing public first – an approach developed outside and independent of the traditional financial services industry and its practices.
And, CSSC has done just that. By developing a truly independent and fundamentally different approach to investment / financial product selection and performance monitoring, we have created a true alternative to the traditional financial services industry. And, summarized below are the key differences between our Model and all of the traditional financial services industry models:
1) Providing the broadest practical market access to product and manager choices is the critical first step. Almost all traditional financial services firms limit choices to only those on their "approved lists" – lists that are almost always very small fractions of the entire universe of possible choices that could potentially be available. Worse yet, getting on such lists too often has had little to do with quality or performance and much more to do with marketing deals and "pay-to-play" arrangements. To the extent client choices are limited; the clients’ chances of finding "the best one for them" are proportionally reduced. So, to remedy this, our unique Process aims to provide, to the greatest extent possible, universal market access to all available money management teams.
2) We do not participate in the various incentive compensation and "pay-to-play" deals and similar "arrangements," which we believe tend to corrupt the financial services marketplace, and which make it nearly impossible for investors / consumers to find "independent advice" they can trust.
3) The creation of a unique, proprietary, and now patented decision-assistance technology that enables us to deal with the mass of information needed to comparatively evaluate such an expanded universe of choices. With it, we can select any number of performance parameters, and separately weight each one, in order to score and rank the entire universe of available choices in a manner specific to each client’s individual needs. Through use of this unique, new decision-assistance technology, we are enabling consumers to determine for themselves which financial products and investment choices are truly best for them (fully objective, transparent and uninfluenced by the marketing hype, advertising claims, behind the scenes deals and relationships, and without any of the sales pressures, all too common within the traditional financial services marketplace).
4) The distribution of this unique new consulting capability not only directly (through CSSC officers and staff), but more importantly through advisory services firms, is helping provide us with the opportunity to expand nationally and internationally, as well as create a marketplace alternative that is both reassuring to clients and financially rewarding to the advisors – rewarding at levels potentially far beyond the revenue levels of their current professional advisory practices.
5) We are enabling attorneys, CPAs, and other advisory professionals to provide clients and non-clients alike with objective, independent analyses of product/investment choices tailored to fit each individual's needs – enabling their clients and others within their communities to definitively answer the two key questions described above – not as product salespeople, but in their traditional roles as the providers of independent, objective advice.
6) Because these firms are often the most trusted advisors to the investing and consuming public, these firms are in a uniquely important and potentially powerful position to distribute this new solution to their clients (and to others within their communities). And, because ours is the only model that does not compromise the traditional roles of attorneys and CPAs as the providers of independent, objective advice, we believe ours could become the dominant model for both law firms and CPA firms wishing to expand the range of their services in this increasingly important area.
The Potential Disruptive Effects of Our Model within the Financial Services Industry: We believe this new and fundamentally different Model – especially when delivered through trusted advisory professionals – could have a profoundly disruptive effect on the multi-trillion dollar traditional financial services industry ("disruptive" in much the same way that the introduction of automobiles disrupted buggy making). This is because, as is illustrated below, the consumer appeal of this new Model appears so obvious, compelling, and easy to understand:
Why would they ever deal with a product salesperson again?
- If a person could go to someone they already know and trust, who already knows the most intimate details of their financial life (e.g., their trusted CPA, lawyer or banker); and
- If, through that person, they could obtain access to the broadest practical range of available investment and other financial product choices,
- And they could have all of those choices objectively scored and ranked in a manner specific to their individual needs (something our patented proprietary decision-assistance technology now enables them to do) – and they could see the results, presented to them in a fully transparent way, empowering them to make informed decisions for themselves;
We believe the answer is obvious –they wouldn't.