Aunt Bea Knows When She’s Being Taken

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Aunt Bea

Ron A. Rhoades, JD, CFP® has a delightful column at RIABiz of a hypotehtical discussion between “Aunt Bea” and a “financial consultant” at a major wirehouse under SIFMA’s proposed “uniform fiduciary standard” entitled, “A conversation between a wirehouse advisor and a senior citizen who seeks trust.”

The entire dialog should make NAPFA fee-only fiduciaries smile. Here is a small part of Aunt Bea’s side of the conversation to whet your appetite:

Aunt Bea: I see. Well, I may be an old biddy, but it sounds to me like I can’t trust you AT ALL in a brokerage account, while with an investment advisory account I MIGHT be able to trust you some — but even then only if I keep my wits about me and read all those disclosures. If I can understand all of those disclosure documents, and all the complexities of the investment products you recommend, maybe then I can then protect my own interests.

Consumers need to know why they deserve a fiduciary standard of care.


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David John Marotta is the Founder and President of Marotta Wealth Management. He played for the State Department chess team at age 11, graduated from Stanford, taught Computer and Information Science, and still loves math and strategy games. In addition to his financial writing, David is a co-author of The Haunting of Bob Cratchit.