Ever since day one, when I started my financial services career at Ameriprise Financial, American Express Financial Advisors as it was known at the time, we were taught planning first. What does that mean?
Some time ago, a number of consultants in the financial services industry did a study and found practicing holistic financial planning, will do a better job for the clients, and in turn generate more fees for the companies. By offering the total package, investments, insurance, banking services and others, the sales people would by compensated on all of the products instead of just their own specialty. In turn, the clients were to benefit because products would not be overlooked. In turn, more and more companies started positioning themselves as financial advisors/consultants. It was to be a win win situation for everyone.
The problem is, not everyone, not by a long shot, who calls themselves a financial advisor actually practices holistic planning and financial management. So you have Brokers, Accountants, Insurance sales people, and even real estate agents battling it out for the title of Financial Advisor. The people who get “screwed” for the lack of a better word are the clients out there, who have different expectations of what one financial professional is actually supposed to provide for them.
If you are reading this online, then it is reasonable to believe you are aware of the Facebook IPO drama all around us. Be it on on financial news websites, or even CNN or Drudge Report, the headlines are all about Facebook, in particular the pending lawsuits against anyone involved, and the drama of being down 15% in a matter of days if you purchased the stock in the initial offering, or more if you bought it on first day of trading.
Something that we go over at the begining of every meeting, the difference between an independent financial advisor with fiduciary duty, and a broker, insurance agent, whomever else, that wants to sell.
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