I created this infographic to illustrate what I have learned about the retail financial advice industry. Let it be known – I did not start with the ideal practice. My career as an adviser began while I was at a large broker dealer. The broker dealer model inherently has conflicts of interest. For example, there is pressure from management to produce revenue and show certain products to clients, generally ones with higher fees (an annuity may pay the adviser 6%, a structured product 3% and a wrap account 1.5-2%). These conflicts of interest pushed me to open my own registered investment advisory firm, so that I could act as a fiduciary on behalf of my clients. Over time, I learned that an adviser cannot put their clients’ interests first without creating a comprehensive personal financial plan.
The client does not care about which mutual fund manager is the best, which stocks you pick or which benchmark you use. The client cares about growing wealth, paying for large expenses and eventually retiring. These cannot be accomplished without properly planning and keeping a holistic view of the overall financial picture. In recognizing my clients’ priorities, my practice evolved into one where clients feel heard and their needs are met.
The infographic below illustrates the spectrum of financial advisers in the industry.
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