sales representatives

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Financial Planners May Be Scam Artists – Upd Oct’14

There are hundreds of thousands of advisors, sales representatives, and insurance agents who claim to be financial planners. Planning by legitimate planners is one of […]

New Investment Advisors Should Have A Warning Label

Every year the financial service industry hires thousands of new investment advisors to sell more than 30,000 investment products. They replace the thousands of investment advisors who quit or were fired because they could not make it in the dog-eat-dog world.

Why is it so difficult to make it in the financial service industry? Isn’t it a profession like accounting and legal? It should be, but it’s not. Unfortunately, financial service is dominated by a powerful sales culture that impacts all of its decisions. New investment advisors are paid straight commission when they sell products and many of them pay their own expenses. If they are successful they make a lot of money. If they are unsuccessful they usually leave within three years. They head for greener pastures. Just hope you did not follow the advice of one of these newly minted experts who left. […]

A Real Financial Advisor is a Fiduciary

Did you know there are people who pretend to be real financial advisors? However, they are really sales representatives. They make this false claim to reduce sales resistance so it is easier to sell investment products to unsuspecting people.

Why Use Deception?

Reps and their employers know 90% of people do not want sales representatives investing their assets. Investors have three concerns.

The competence of the reps. Do they have the knowledge investors need to achieve their financial goals?
Their ethics. Do they recommend the best products or the products that pay the biggest commissions?
Their ongoing services. Reps are paid one-time commissions to sell products. They are not paid ongoing compensation to provide ongoing services such as performance reporting.

Reps have to get over these three hurdles. The easiest way is to lie about their actual role.

Is This Legal?  […]

Is Your Financial Planner a Real Expert?

How do you determine if your financial planner is a real expert or a sales representative masquerading as a financial planner to sell you investment and insurance products?

Everyone needs a financial plan. So, thousands of stockbrokers and insurance agents claim to be planners to reduce your sales resistance. That’s because they know most people do not want salesmen investing their assets. Also, they can buy planning software that recommends the purchase of investment and insurance products for them – a much easier sale. They also know people are less likely to question product recommendations that are included in their financial plans.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to determine who the real financial planners are. It is not like they have track records that document what percentage of their clients achieved their financial goals when they followed the planner’s advice. There are also no testing or licensing requirements for financial planners. The bottom-line is anyone, qualified or not, can call himself a planner, which creates a major financial risk for you.

Following are a few tips that will help you determine the quality of financial planners. […]

The Three Most Important Questions You Should Ask a Financial Advisor

You need to know the financial services industry is made-up of sales representatives and financial advisors. They have very different roles, but most sales representatives camouflage their real role by telling you they are financial advisors.

Why is it important to know the real role of the person who wants to control or influence how you invest your assets? I am going to answer this question with a question. Would you knowingly select a sales rep to invest your assets? When asked this question, 96.4% of investors said they would not. That is why sales reps have to hide their real role, which is selling investment and insurance products for commissions. No one would buy from them.

How do they get away with it? Wall Street interests have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbyists to make sure reps and financial advisors do not have mandatory disclosure requirements. It is up to you to ask the right questions and you have to know good answers from bad ones. […]

How to Find and Select a Real Financial Advisor

Your best solution for finding a real financial advisor is the Internet for three reasons. First, it is easy to find financial advisors. Just enter the key words “Financial Advisor Chicago IL” and you will have thousands of choices. Second, you can use the Internet to learn a lot about the financial advisor without actually contacting the advisor. Check his website, do a Google search on his name, and view his professional profile on third party websites such as Paladin Registry ( And third, you can maintain your anonymity while you do this. There is no contact or sales pressure until you decide you want to make the contact.

Hidden Risks

There are other ways to find advisors but most of them create hidden risks. For example, you may ask a friend, family member, or CPA for a referral. You do not know the basis for the referral and you still have to do your homework. Keep in mind, this is how Bernie Madoff marketed his scam to investors. Referrals can be dangerous! […]