Polar Investment Counsel Inc.

Independent Securities & Futures Brokers


Home Office: Thief River Falls MN

218.681.7344 * 218.681.1327 [fax]

Declare Your Independence

Indeed, there is a better life and a lot more money outside the wire house environment...

Today is      


Declare your




About PICI


Thank you for stopping by our website and exploring the possibility of establishing your business as an independent contractor associated with our firm.  We believe you will find it extremely difficult to better an offer we make you.

The idea that high-wage economies must be rooted in localized and special networks has become widely known as industry "clusters".  Today, the logic underpinning many such clusters is increasingly tenuous.  The use of advanced telecommunications makes coordination between disparate individuals and companies increasingly easy.  At the same time, the dispersion of talent and technology has altered the once-fixed geographies of talent. 

We are an independent, full-service, fully disclosed, non-clearing, non-market making broker dealer, and introducing broker (commodities futures broker) with our Home Office in northwestern Minnesota. Presently we are seeking independent contractor relationships with qualified and established investment professionals regardless of their location. An ideal relationship will be with an individual or group who have:



A strong desire to establish his or her own business, and thereby the ability of retaining a far greater portion of the commission and fee income which the candidate generates.


The ability to operate on an independent contractor basis, without the support usually associated with that offered by the larger or wirehouse firms.

The desire to set up one's own professional corporation and among other things, design a retirement program which is far more suitable (and lucrative) than your present firm's 401k.  Please note that we have advised many of our broker's concerning incorporation, etc, you might want to ask us prior to proceeding in this area.

A basically clean compliance history is required. While a candidate with some "small event" may be acceptable, one with major baggage may not be.  We believe our careful selection of brokers controls our costs and increases the firm's flexibility.  Decisions to accept or reject a particular professional are made on a case-by-case basis.

A business mix which is compatible with the risk tolerances and supervisory ability of the firm. While this is a complicated matter and will be decided on a case-by-case basis, generally candidates operating complex , CMO programs or utilizing high degrees of leverage would be better served by one of our competitors.

Naturally, every firm has its strengths and weaknesses. We feel that among our strengths are our impeccable clearing relationships, our risk adverse posture, and the one hundred plus years of combined industry experience attained by our principals. Additionally, this firm has been very active in alternative investments such as "managed futures programs" which is a rarity even at the larger firms. Most "stock brokers" are of the opinion that the "futures" area is strictly for very high net worth individuals or gamblers but this is not so. As you may be aware, these programs (if properly managed) are capable of profiting in any economic environment. Few of us are naive enough to believe that the equity market represents the only investment arena, our clients probably don't.

There are many reasons for becoming an independent and having your own business, such as the ability to offer products which your present firm does not offer, paying only for the services which you need, the ability to design your own (more effective) retirement plan, the ability of doing institutional and discount business at will, the elimination of office politics, favoritism, and so forth. 

However, please have absolutely no illusions, operation as an independent broker is NOT FOR EVERYONE. Over the years I have known many ladies and gentlemen who were exceptional brokers with excellent client orientation and fine compliance records who would have been unhappy as independents.

To complicate the decision making process further, we believe that the independent firms differ far more from one firm to the next than do their larger wirehouse brethren.

Having spent twenty-three years with many "larger firms" before setting up this firm, I feel quite confident in the statement: "All of the large firms are very much the same save for the individual political climates". Oh, sure, some have slightly better benefit plans than others, or one may have a more tolerant attitude toward discounting than another, but still it's pretty much the same in my opinion. The gentleman who works for a major firm based in New York doesn't really have anything to offer that a lady who works for "The Stage Coach Line" doesn't have.

The independents, however, differ widely; there are those which offer brokerage services largely slanted toward traditional packaged product, but charge outrageous clearing fees for doing a simple stock trade. If you are associated with one of these firms you have no ability to be competitive on a "full service" business.  We are able to offer extremely competitive clearing fees.  While a vast majority of competitors have some sort of per desk charge for clearing firm access, etc., we are able to offer those services without cost.

There are securities firms which do not offer futures product, and then there are "introducing" futures brokerages which do not offer any securities products. Each of these restricts the ability of an investment professional to offer his or her client a full range of product.

Unfortunately, there are firms which will admit or retain "problem brokers." One can only assume that the motivation for this activity is financial. In today's increasingly regulated environment such firms frequently find themselves pressured into instituting extremely restrictive and burdensome procedures. Ultimately such firm's brokers suffer in one way or another.

Unlike some of our competitors, we never intend to grow this firm to an unmanageable size. Nor will we maintain relationships with the ethically challenged.

As with most firms, we need to maintain certain criteria for operating a branch office.  We have additional requirements other than the general regulatory items.   For a list, please visit the requirement section of this website.

Once a decision to make a change is reached, and a new relationship (firm) decided upon, the single most important task remaining is (in our opinion) the outline of estimated start-up costs and the design of an operating budget. Unfortunately, there really is no formula for this procedure; each situation is different. After all, one of the reasons for becoming an independent is "paying only for the services which you need."  We do offer some help in the office setup and budgetary planning processes for those who desire it.  In closing, I feel it is worth noting that during the course of the bear market in the new millennium, the average wirehouse business was down in excess of 40%, while in the independent and financial planner businesses, revenues were off only about 25%.

We look forward to discussing these matters with you. 






For more information contact:

Michael C. Jordan


Professional Biography



Web Design:SWS LLC