Brotherly Agape World is $415M Ponzi Scheme
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Most consumers do not know how to safeguard their money. Here is a real world example of why breaking any of the eight safeguard puts your money at peril. Make sure that your investments are properly safeguarded.

I just renewed my CFP designation. They oppose FINRA oversight of CFP advisors.
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The rules which would begin to be applied to the watchdogs would not be for the sake of protecting the roost no matter how much the foxes suggest they do.

5 Questions To Ask A Potential Financial Advisor
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“You’ll want to interview several potential candidates, and make sure you find the right person for the job. Use these questions to hire the right financial advisor.”

What is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary?
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Fi360 promotes a culture of fiduciary responsibility and improves the decision making processes of investment fiduciaries and other financial service providers.

Fee-Only Financial Planner: What’s the Difference?
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Fee-only financial planners are registered investment advisors with a fiduciary responsibility to act in their clients’ best interest. They do not accept any fees or compensation based on product sales.

Video: How to Find a Financial Advisor by SmartMoney.com
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Experts Explain: Finding a Financial Advisor. How to find the right person to help manage your money.

Our Highest Value to Clients
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Wisdom is the ability to exercise good judgement in the fact of imperfect knowledge. Sometimes that means reframing the question.

Most Commission-Based Advisors Caught Failing Clients in Research Sting
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Study in Boston area, with undercover actors posing as clients, showed commission-based advisors putting their own interests first

Aiming For Advisors
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I read a number of articles touting the growth and “advantages” of annuities. Personally, I’ve never met an annuity I liked.

What does Clark Howard really think of variable annuities?
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“Variable annuities are garbage. They have huge expenses; big fees if you try to bag out before a certain point; and massive tax problems compared to other ways you can invest. But that’s what you’ll probably be steered to by a commissioned insurance salesperson.”

Why NAPFA members are different from Goldman Sachs
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“Today, if you make enough money for [Goldman Sachs] (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence.”

Safeguarding Your Money
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Given all the greed and deceit in the world of financial services you shouldn’t have to trust your financial advisor. Here is a list of eight safeguards that should be in place to help safeguard your money.

Video: Comprehensive Wealth Management
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Comprehensive wealth management is based on the idea that small changes in our finances can have large effects over long periods of time. These changes can make the difference in achieving our life goals.

Foolish Ideas
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“Successful active management is a fantasy stoked by the financial services industry.”

Indexing Works
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“Many investors think active managers can shift out of stocks in time to stem losses in bear markets. Not true.”

The House That Bogle Built
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Learn about the index preferred by the person who invented index funds with the Vanguard S&P 500. And no, it isn’t the S&P 500.

How should we manage a non-profit endowment?
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“There exists a timeless and flexible process for successful investment management decision making that is specifically tailored for Investment Stewards.”

“True or false: All financial advisors are crooks” asks Kiplinger-NAPFA chat
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Kiplinger is teaming up with the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) to bring you FREE, personalized financial advice.

You Can’t Regulate Crooks
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Unnecessary regulation annoys the good guys, and doesn’t stop the bad guys.

The Disaster of Closed-End Mutual Fund IPOs
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Investors in this year’s fund IPOs should be protesting. Investors who got suckered by brokers have been massacred by fees and poor performance. Their total losses — hard to believe — total about $1 billion.

The Hedging Game
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“Structured products’ risk-reward ratio is worse than you think.”

An Appetizing Investment
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High Net Worth individuals are often solicited to provide funds for a private venture such as opening a new restaurant business. Think thrice before considering investing.

Fee-Only Financial Planners Help You in Three Ways
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Working with a fee-only planner can help you make better financial decisions and balance current needs with future goals. The result can be financial peace of mind.

Can financial advisers be trusted?
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Not every investment consultant has your interests as the top priority, or even the necessary credentials. Here’s how to find the right type of adviser.

To pay for investment advice or to get it “free”?
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Clark Howard recently advocated using a fee-only advisor generally and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) in particular.

“Fee based” isn’t the same as “fee only”
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“If you want advice that’s free of such conflicts, you’ll need to look for a true fee-only (not fee-based) financial planner.”

Aunt Bea knows when she’s being taken
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A conversation between a wirehouse advisor and a senior citizen who seeks trust

Ten Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor
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Someone asked me what disclosures I would require for financial advisors. I’ve written these principles in a yes-or-no format and reworded the questions. “Yes” is the best answer and “no” means you should seek more information or not consider that advisor at all. Although answering affirmatively to all 10 questions would be my first screen in selecting a financial advisor, it still does not guarantee the person has the competence necessary to offer comprehensive wealth management.

SEC Requires New ADV Part 2 Disclosure Form
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Unfortunately, our society tends to pass feel-good legislation aimed at making people feel safer without actually making them safer.

You Deserve a Fiduciary Standard of Care
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Most investors are not aware of a critical division of professionals in the world of financial services. This distinction lies between fee-only fiduciaries who are free to act in your best interests and commission-based agents and brokers who are required to act in the best interest of the companies that employ them.

Video: The Dangers of Immediate Fixed Annuities
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The returns offered by immediate fixed annuities aren’t as good as they sound. The slight of hand in this case is the immediate loss of 100% of your principal. They are fixed for you to lose and the insurance company to win.

Seven Termites That Eat Your 401(k)
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We call the difference between the market return and typical investor returns the “termite gap.”

Safeguard #8: Avoid an Advisor with a Lavish Lifestyle
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There will always be swindlers masquerading as investment advisors. You can learn to recognize such people by their over-the-top lifestyle.

Safeguard #7: Avoid Investment Advisors Who Sugarcoat Reality
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Excellent advisors communicate clearly exactly how bad the markets have been and can be.

Safeguard #6: Recognize And Avoid Financial Hooks
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To safeguard your money, you must be able to extricate yourself from any bad investment quickly. Of course, the companies that sell mistakes don’t want you to be able to do that, so they use financial hooks to hold your money captive.

Safeguard #5: Understand Your Investment Strategy
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You have a critical part to play in financial planning. Certain responsibilities cannot be delegated to others.

Safeguard #4: Buy Investments That Trend Upward
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Crazy volatile markets push people toward irrational investment schemes. Know how to avoid them in order to safeguard your money.

Safeguard #3: Insist on Publicly Priced and Traded Investments
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One important safeguard is to insist on investing only in liquid assets. Investors undervalue liquidity 99.9% of the time. You need to be in the other 0.1%.

Safeguard #2: Walk Away from “Too Good to Be True”
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There are several investment safeguards you should insist on. One is to avoid any investment opportunity that sounds too good to be true.

Safeguard #1: Do Not Allow Your Advisor to Have Custody of Your Investments
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I was recently asked if investors should trust their financial advisors. And my short answer, you may be surprised to hear, was no. Your financial advisor should not also have custody of your investments.

What Your Advisor Doesn’t Want You to Ask
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Probably the most important question you can ask of anyone offering you financial advice is, “Do you have a legal obligation to act in my best interests?”

Ruling Allows Broker Conflict of Interest
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Currently, stockbrokers can offer the same services as Fee-Only financial planners without being accountable to the same fiduciary standards. This exemption to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 has been called the “Merrill Lynch rule.”

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