Your Stock Broker Doesn’t Love You! By Antonio FilipponeA good while back I took a wonderful training class on how your psychological makeup affects your financial and other life decisions in major ways. I loved what I learned and have applied it in many aspects of my life but one thing the instructor said has stuck with me all this time and I still repeat his words to my clients all the time. In talking about Financial Advisors he asked, “and he is doing all of this work for you because he loves you?” He was making the point that people’s motives are not always as well-intentioned as we might think and that certain relationships are more adversarial than we may realize. Unfortunately, this adversarial relationship is most dangerous when it is veiled or disguised so well that one party has been duped into thinking that this was never the case. One place this can happen is with your Financial Advisor. The truth is not all Financial Advisory relationships are set up the same way. The investment industry evolved so that different advisory relationships are governed by different sets of standards. The big problem is the average investor doesn’t know the difference and the Big Brokerages would love to keep it that way. Some financial professionals called Registered Investment Advisors work for a fee and are governed by the SEC and must submit to the Fiduciary standard. The Fiduciary standard requires the advisor to always act in the client’s best interest. On the other hand, Stock Brokers are governed by FINRA and work for a commission and are held to a lesser measure called the Suitability standard and it merely asks that brokers sell investments they believe to be right for the client. In regards to some new legislation that would require all financial professionals to adopt the Fiduciary Standard Barbra Roper the director of investor protection at the Consumer Federation of America had this to say, “The average investor would be appalled to see how hard some members of the financial industry are working to avoid acting in the best interests of their clients”. With Regards to these Brokers operating under the lesser suitability standard Arthur Levitt, former chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been quoted as calling Stock Brokers, “good people stuck in a bad system”. He is also quoted as saying that, “the system in which brokers operate is still geared toward volume selling, not giving objective advice”. Strong words from the former head of the SEC. The point is not to say all Brokers are evil and out to get you, but when you are trying to decide what to do with your life savings you might want to make sure the person you are talking to works under a system that is designed to put your interest first and not the interests of the Brokerage they represent or even worse themselves. One way you can begin to determine this is BEFORE you invest any money find out if your advisor is a Fiduciary or are they a Broker? How? Ask before you invest. If they tell you they act as a Broker even part of the time, then you can easily determine what their true motivation is. PS. They don’t Love you! Want to learn more about how having an advisor that is truly on your side can help you maximize Social Security, Medicare, and other retirement benefits so that you make certain you get everything right the first time and avoid making any mistakes? Apply for a complimentary one on one strategy session with me today…. And I’ll show you how to do all of this – for FREE! My job is to help you make educated decisions about your money that feel right to you. That might include not changing anything or doing anything differently if that is what feels right. My job is NOT to wrestle you into some financial product or strategy that makes you feel uncomfortable. And if at the end of our session you decided to take my advice and do it yourself or bring it back to your current advisor that is your option. We will still part friends, I promise. Typically, we will sit down together for about an hour or so and my goal will be to answer as many questions for you as I can. During our session, we will likely uncover several ideas that could put you thousands of dollars ahead, or we will expose several big mistakes that could easily be avoided. There is NO cost for this meeting and nothing to buy at this point. Does this sound like something that would be helpful to you? If so be sure to book your strategy session today!