Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Blinded by Wall Street

A so called "Vice President of Investments" recently responded to an article online trying to state his position as a Wall Street Broker and how he was just as "fiduciary like" as Independent Registered Investment Advisers. What a bunch of baloney! He claimed his advice was suitable and he looked out for his customers. What a joke! Do you realize that most all Wall Street Brokers are Vice Presidents of Investments? This title in and of itself is totally misleading.

Fiduciary like? There is no such thing as "fiduciary like." This shows how blind these Wall Street Brokers are when it comes to doing the right thing. They have actually convinced themselves that selling products from the inventory of their Wall Street brokerage firm is perfectly okay. They have also convinced themselves that selling a client a Variable Annuity in a IRA account that pays them 6 to 8% commission and locks the client in for 10 years or more is perfectly okay. That is instead of opening a regular brokerage IRA account without a 10 year or more penalty for early withdrawal. Further, they convince themselves that it is okay to sell mutual funds that charge a 5.75% sales load, when no load funds are available to them to offer to clients.

A read an article online recently that said over 90% of the Registered Investment Advisers out there today are also affiliated with a Wall Street firm, a Bank or an Insurance Company. This means that there is only 10% of us true fiduciaries out there. So, look out. Nine out of ten people out there today giving financial advice is doing so in their firm's best interest, not yours.

In my humble opinion, the battle the fiduciary standard is going to end with Wall Street brokerage firms, Bank and Insurance Company clients getting the shaft. There is already talk on the street of how the fiduciary standard is going to be watered down to allow the same Wall Street revenue generating brokerage machine to continue. Banks and Insurance Companies will continue business as usual. People will continue to be given financial advice that favors:
  1. The Wall Street firm first, or the Bank or Insurance Company first.
  2. The Wall Street Broker, or excuse me...I meant Vice President of Investments.
  3. I interrupt this list for an important message. I just realized that if you get your advice from a Wall Street firm that is owned by a bank and you are sold a Variable Annuity, then the Wall Street firm, the Bank and the Insurance Company all benefit before you. Yikes!!
  4. Last on the list unfortunately is you.
It astounds me that anyone would ever obtain their investment advice from either a Wall Street firm, a Bank or an Insurance Company when the cards are stacked against them from the get go. Do you get your financial advice from a Wall Street firm, a Bank or an Insurance Company? Why? They do not care about you and they are not on your side. More importantly, they do not do what is in your best interests.

The good news is that there is a better option. Independent Registered Investment Advisers who have no affiliation with a Wall Street firm, a Bank or an Insurance Company. Sadly, we do not have millions of dollars that we take from clients and pay to Congress in order to get our way. We simply just keep plodding along hoping that one day, the people of America will wake up and realize that doing business with an Independent Registered Investment Adviser is the only place to obtain your financial advice.

Keep Your Assets. Take My Advice. Seriously.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year. God Bless.