Are Financial Advisors Hazardous to Your Wealth?
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Those who use the term “financial advisor” on their business cards can be split into two groups: fiduciary advisors and nonfiduciary advisors.

It’s Flat-Out Illegal in Other Countries
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There is great disagreement in the financial services world if an advisor who has continuous and comprehensive management of a client’s assets should be allowed to also benefit from transactions that they recommend.

The False Promises of Annuities and Annuity Calculators
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The entire selling point of the immediate fixed annuity is a lower return in exchange for a guarantee. But when analyzed, the purchase price is a loss from which you can never recover.

Protecting Your Parents: Keep the Sharks at Bay
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Make sure that Mom and Dad have a family member and a fiduciary advisor watching out for their finances.

More Wall Street Than Main Street
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“Average American investors start to worry that FINRA will damage their relationship with independent financial advisors.”

Report: Clients Confused About Standards and Don’t Care
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Unfortunately few consumers understand what a fiduciary standard means to them.

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.

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.”

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

“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.

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

Government Regulations Don’t Make You Safer
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The United States has three sectors of the economy suffering under regulatory red tape: financial services, energy and now health care. I’m certain the financial services regulations have caused more harm than good.

Dodd-Frank Bill Concentrates Financial Power
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Only if you swear by the genius of Caesar, trust in his altruism and believe in his divinity is this bill a cause for celebration.

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 #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 #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.

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.”

How to Avoid Higher Cost Mutual Funds
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If you rely on a commission-based financial product salesperson, you will probably be sold the wrong kind of funds.

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