by Jack Waymire
Wall Street does not make it easy to determine the quality of financial advisors. They do not have track records so you cannot measure past results. They do not have mandatory disclosure requirements so you have to ask the right questions and know good answers from bad ones. And, they document as little as possible so you have no record of their responses.
Why withhold information from you? The answer is simple. You would not buy what the advisors are selling if you had all of the facts. This simple reality impacts Wall Street’s revenue and profit – not to mention the bonuses of key executives. The fact of the matter is, there are hundreds of thousands of incompetent or unethical advisors who sell Wall Street products to unsuspecting investors.
On Your Own
Only you can protect your financial interests. There is no regulatory agency that will protect you from low quality financial advisors who prey on investors. Incompetence is legal. Lack of ethics is illegal, but impossible to enforce. The more you know the better prepared you are to protect your interests. But, this is much easier said than done.
That does because advisors control virtually all of the information you rely on to select them. The information is conveyed in pitches that maximize the impact of their sales skills. They make undocumented sales claims that establish them as financial experts – even when it is not true.
There is one website that vets, rates, and documents the quality of financial advisors for you: www.PaladinRegistry.com. This website finds advisors and vets their credentials, ethics, business practices, and services. Then Paladin uses a proprietary algorithm to rate advisor quality for you. And, this free Paladin service documents the vetting and rating information so you have the facts you need to select the best advisor.
Get the Facts
Advisors would like you to make subjective selection decisions based on their personalities and sales pitches. This type of decision process maximizes the impact of their sales and relationship skills. Unfortunately, advisors who “sound the best” are rarely real financial experts. They are the best salesmen and who wants a salesman investing their assets. You need competent advice you can trust, not sales recommendations.
Documented facts can help you make the right decision:
- Years of financial experience
- Degrees from accredited colleges
- Legitimate certifications that were earned; not bought
- Compliance records (FINRA, SEC)
- Acknowledged fiduciary
- Method of compensation; fees are best
- Full disclosure for all expenses
We have developed an eBook that will help you when dealing with Wall Street advisors. Click here to download your free copy.
Other posts from Jack Waymire
How often have you heard the expression, “You need to spend money to make money?” Usually reserved for...
What you should be asking yourself—and your advisor—while evaluating your portfolio’s 2016 performance. The end of 2016 brought...
Read this timely article if you are planning to change financial advisors or select your first advisor in...