The average Pershing advisor with $800 million in AUM that institutes a 25-basis-point increase in fees could add $2 million to their bottom line in year one.

Garcia said the perception that the advisor industry is under pricing pressure is somewhat overblown. “Many in the advisor supply chain—including asset managers, issuers, custodians and technology firms—are experiencing pricing pressures, but advisors’ fees have shown signs of stability and even growth,” she said.

“We continue to expand and add value-added services and pricing stability at the top line. As a result, two-thirds of our advisors who had price changes actually increased their prices,” Garcia said.

Differentiators matter a great deal when it comes to advisor pricing. For example, what is your firm doing that can’t be replicated by competing advisors or retail providers? “The most profitable firms go really deep, offering valuable services like tax advice, business planning, business owner succession planning,” said Benjamin Harrison, managing director of Advisors Solutions at BNY Mellon Pershing.

The average household’s assets on Pershing’s advisor platform is $6 million. “The kinds of services we are talking about can not be delivered by a robo-advisor and are not highly scalable,” Harrison said. “Wealthy individuals are willing to pay more for advice that puts them in a better place.”

In general, wealth management-oriented practices that serve clients on a multitude of levels tend to be the most successful at increasing fees, while smaller firms that do only asset management—especially for clients at the $500,000 AUM level or lower—are likely to feel pricing pressure, industry insiders said.

At the end of the day, however, all advisors say they want to grow and become more profitable, Armitage said. Organic growth that comes from strategies such as comprehensive financial planning can help firms mean more to clients and get more wallet share. “These clients are usually stickier and they’re more tolerant of price increases,” she said.

Breaking out the types of fees a firm charges—including separate line items for financial planning and performance-based fees—is also a way to add to a firm’s bottom-line revenues. Armitage said she is happy to see more and more advisors breaking out fees for financial planning or performance as a way to re-enforce the value they are adding, rather than just rolling up the services into a single AUM fee.

Performance-based fees or success fees, in vogue 20-plus years ago, are now making a resurgence and are often predicated on a firm beating a certain, pre-determined performance threshold, or hurdle rate, she said. “Added performance can help the sandwich generation, for instance, pay for college and graduate school for their children, while giving them the assets they need to assist aging parents. There is a true value in outperforming and charging for it is reasonable,” Armitage said.

While many advisors don’t use performance-based fees yet—after being told for years not to peg their value to performance—there is now a separate line item for performance-based fees in the new Form ADV.