There is a rule on Wall Street that says the best assets reside in your Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The assets tend to be more substantial than personal savings. The assets have long investment horizons, sometimes 30 years or more. And, the assets are tax-deferred so there are no tax consequences for excessive trading.
The Wolf on Wall Street wants your retirement assets. Your challenge is to recognize wolves so you can avoid them. This is easier said than done when wolves disguise themselves to look like pillars of the community. You have heard of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. In this case, the wolf is dressed in a pinstripe suit, wears a Rolex, and drives a Lexus. He knows what you want to hear. He makes illegal promises he cannot keep. He does whatever it takes to gain control of your assets. If he loses he goes to bed hungry that night.
If this isn’t scary enough the wolf may go to your church or belong to your Country Club. He knows you inherently trust people who have your same interests. This is called Affinity Marketing and wolves are expert hunters. This is how they make their livings. Wolves in the wild dress like a sheep to get close to the flock. It is no different for the Wall Street wolf. He also knows how to get close to his victims so he can sell investment and insurance products.
How can you avoid these Wall Street predators? There are five simple rules. Follow them and you can sleep with both eyes closed.
1. Only select advisors who are Registered Investment Advisors or Investment Advisor Representatives. These registrations permit these advisors to provide financial advice and ongoing services for fees.
2. Select an advisor from a firm that is headquartered in your city or state. You can avoid wolves by avoiding the Wall Street firms that employ them.
3. Select an advisor who acknowledges he is a financial fiduciary in writing. Fiduciaries are required to put your financial interests ahead of their own.
4. Never select an advisor without checking his compliance record at FINRA.org. Ask the advisor for his CRD number and use it to access his record on the FINRA website.
5. Use the free Resources on the Paladin Registry website to help you make the right decision. There is no substitute for the facts when you are making decisions that will impact when you retire, how you live during retirement, and your financial security late in life when you need it the most.