by Gary Brand
As a Certified Financial Planner™ fee-only practitioner I have seen a disturbing trend recently of clients and prospects seeking my assistance with their concerns regarding various financial products they own that they do not understand, and are not providing them with the results they were led to believe would be forthcoming. I firmly believe that an informed consumer is the best defense against these sorts of problems; it amazes me that people will spend a week on the internet researching which $40,000 car to buy, but they will turn their life savings over to a “financial advisor” (most of whom are actually salespeople) on the basis of one or two meetings without ever having checked the advisor’s regulatory disclosures, which are freely available via the same internet.
Before you commit to any financial transactions ask the “financial advisor” which agency regulates his or her activity and visit their site. FINRA, the SEC and state insurance boards all have websites where you can find the disciplinary records of “advisors”, financial planners, brokers, registered representatives and insurance agents.
I present to you below the case of Roger W. Page and his “financial advisor” misconduct. Please watch the video and then review Roger’s BrokerCheck report By clicking on the “Download Full Report PDF” at the bottom left of the opening screen.
The fact that what Roger did was unconscionable is not even the worst part of this story. The BrokerCheck report indicates that he was employed by seven different firms over the ten years before this incident. That in and of itself is not terrible, but would certainly be something a prospective client might want to consider before entering into an advisory relationship.
The BrokerCheck disclosures, however, show three different customer disputes involving unethical and possibly illegal practice violations alleging millions in damages and settled for hundreds of thousands of dollars, but the worst part of the story is that ALL THE VIOLATIONS OCCURRED BEFORE THE UNFORTUNATE WOMAN GAVE ROGER HER MONEY, AND COULD HAVE BEEN SEEN IN LESS THAN 5 MINUTES ON THE BROKERCHECK INTERNET SITE.
And the moral of the story is: Caveat Emptor – (let the buyer beware)
To learn more about Gary Brand, visit The Goff Financial Group.