Avoid Dave Ramsey’s Referral Services
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Rumors suggest that the network’s vetting is a five minute process where you are told the fees are about $1,000 a month.

Spam Analysis: The “Reclusive Millionaire Warns” Article
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The title is “Reclusive Millionaire Warns: ‘Get Out of Cash Now.’ ” Assuming you take the bait, the article and accompanying video uses all the psychological tricks. It takes a long time before what they are selling is revealed.

Avoid Advisors Paid for Cross-Selling
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Cross-Selling is when a financial institution incentivizes their employees to sell or recommend financial products and services that increase the financial institution’s profits. The practice is as commonplace as it is fraught with conflicts of interest.

79 Advisers Admit to Breach of Fiduciary Duty
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SEC announced that 79 investment adviser firms will return more than $125 million to clients after self-reporting violations of the Advisers Act.

Know Your Fund Expense Ratios
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The expense ratio charged by your funds matters more than you may realize.

Disclosures Are Not Sufficient To Fulfill The Fiduciary Duty
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Disclosures are always necessary but rarely sufficient to fulfill fiduciary obligations.

Ameriprise Pay-To-Play Funds Are Poorly Ranked By Morningstar
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If you own these fund families with your Ameriprise Advisor, perhaps you should consider switching to a fee-only financial advisor.

Brokers Sell Products Not Advice
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Brokers tell investors they’re trusted advisors, and then tell the courts they’re just sales people.

A Case Study in a Misleading Annuity Sales Advertisement
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In addition to all of the other reasons people hate annuities, seemingly fraudulent advertising and sales techniques is a major factor.

SEC Leaves 61% of Registered Representatives Exempt From Its Adviser Rules
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This is called “regulatory capture” and is quite common in government regulatory agencies such as the SEC.

Ameriprise Fined $5.4M for Brokers Stealing Client Funds
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Ameriprise was fined $4.5 million for failing to appropriately supervise representatives who were stealing client funds.

Study Finds Financial Disclosures Confuse Investors and Only the SEC is Surprised
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Are you consenting to harmful conduct by your financial advisor?

Failed Government myRA Program Closed
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That the program failed is not a surprise. That the government decided to close a failed program, however, is.

Be Wary Of Sponsored Content
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As you read other financial advice sites, be wary of the sponsored content.

Useless Articles Abound On The Internet
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It will help you in life if you can learn to distinguish between content with ulterior motives and real financial planning wisdom.

Your Commission-Based Advisor May Not Even Know What Fees You Are Paying
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The majority of the industry many not even believe that there is a better way. But you deserve better.

Information Asymmetry or Why You Need a Fee-Only Advisor
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Incentives matter. If you are going to get a financial advisor, you need to select a fee-only advisor because you need to find an advisor you can trust.

Fidelity Ends ‘Point In Time’ Fiduciary Service
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We find the practices of much of the financial services industry repulsive.

Language Matters: Best Interest vs. Suitability-Plus
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Another free pass for the agents of brokers-dealers to dissembling under the guise of “Regulation Best Interest.”

Guide to Registered Investment Advisors in Charlottesville 2018
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We were surprised by our survey of the registered firms in the Charlottesville area.

What Is A “Point In Time” Fiduciary?
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You should not trust a point in time fiduciary for even a single heart beat.

Rent Seeking in Proxy Voting
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We, the shareholders, do not like being treated this way.

New SEC Advice Rule Abandons Fiduciary Standard For Brokers
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The SEC released an embarrassingly poor 1,000 page document.

SEC Isn’t Enforcing The Law
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In 2007 the Financial Planning Association won a lawsuit that it filed against the SEC to force them to enforce the registration provisions of the 1940 Investment Advisors Act. The law still isn’t enforced.

What Does It Mean To Be An Accredited Investor?
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“One principal purpose of the accredited investor concept is to identify persons who can bear the economic risk of investing in these unregistered securities.”

SEC Action Forces Ameriprise To Return $1.8 Million In Excessive Fees
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Unfortunately, no amount of rules-based compliance can force a company to follow the principles-based fiduciary standard.

Clean Shares Still Laden with Conflicts Of Interest
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Recommending clean shares does not free the industry from conflicts of interest.

8 Broker-Dealers You Should Avoid
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Here is the list of broker-dealers who said the CFP should not expect those with the CFP® mark to not mislead consumer.

Odds Are Your Financial Advisor Is Actually a Salesperson
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SEC-mandated titling will not be enough to save unsuspecting consumers from non-fiduciary financial professionals.

New CFP Board Ethics Standards Suggest “Fee Based” Is Misleading
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It will be a welcome change when the CFP Board can force CFP® mark holders to remove misleading content from their websites.

Spam Solicitation from Albemarle Insurance Agency
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Albemarle Insurance Agency’s hiring solicitation shows the difference between insurance salesmen and fee-only fiduciary advisors.

SEC Advertises Investor.gov to Protect Against Fraud
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Don’t let someone else live the life you’re saving for, but also don’t rely on Investor.Gov to protect your money.

TD Ameritrade Eliminated Low Cost Commission Free Exchange Traded Funds
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TD Ameritrade has received a large number of complaints. But apparently not enough to change their decision. If you have a TD Ameritrade account perhaps your call will help them change their minds.

Investing Mistake: Paying Too Much In Investment Vehicle Fees
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There can be great value in the sage advice of a fee-only fiduciary advisor. Even if they brought no value for their investment management, they could still bring great value for their help in comprehensive wealth management. While a competent … Read More

Morgan Stanley Is A Terrible Choice
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I normally try to refrain from “bashing the competition,” but in this case, the competition’s practices are, at least to me, a moral issue.

An Overview of Robo-Investing
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A few years ago, there was a great rise of so-called robo-advisers, computer programming that enabled setting a simple asset allocation on the security level and then automatic rebalancing to those targets for each security.

Not All Financial Advising Firms Rebalance Client Portfolios
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You would think that rebalancing a client’s portfolio would be standard in the industry. Unfortunately, it is not.

T-Share Class Mutual Funds Are Not “Fiduciary-Friendly”
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Less gouging doesn’t make T-shares meet the high principles-based fiduciary standard.

Commission-Based Firms Admit They Don’t Provide Advice
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Commission-based firms want either to be exempt from the Fiduciary standard or else given the title anyway.

Your Advisor’s Sports Car Personality Is Hurting Your Returns
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What does the car your advisor drives tell you about their investment and budgeting services?

One Example Of What Is Wrong With Commission Based Investment Advice
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There is a large difference between the motives and incentives of the sales person and those of the service person.

How Does Compliance Differ Between Smaller Firms and Large Brokers?
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It is relatively easy for an adviser who has a 400 lawyer compliance department to sit through some compliance continuing education and yet never understand what attitudes and behaviors need to be changed.

Are You Paying For Your Fund’s Advertising?
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If you own some mutual funds, chances are you are paying a hefty marketing price.

TD Ameritrade Trust Company President Gets “Fee-Only” Wrong
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It should be clear that “fee-only” means “fee-only,” not “fees and third-party manager revenue-sharing and trailing mutual fund fees.”

Bloomberg Article Gets Asset Allocation Exactly Wrong
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Apparently the idea behind asset allocation is more complex than they think.

Language Matters: Robo-Advisor vs. Robo-Investing
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David M Zolt writes in his article “Industry needs to rid itself of misleading labels” that “profound misrepresentation is just one of the many ways the financial services field misleads customers with language.” It is absolutely true. He explains: Language … Read More

Where to Find the Hidden Fees of Commission-Based Firms
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Very few consumers actually read the SEC filings for the firms they have engaged.

Department of Labor’s New Fiduciary Ruling
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Any legislation which can include FINRA’s commission-based advisors will dilute what it means to be a fiduciary.

Can’t All Advisors Make Trades On My Behalf?
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Only give someone who is required to honor your best interest the ability to trade in your account without talking to you.

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