“Its business,” is the excuse many professionals use when they are doing something they know is less than ethical. They aren’t doing anything illegal, they’re just maneuvering a situation to benefit the company they work for, or their own bank account, OVER the benefit of their client.
We see this frequently in the financial services industry, and it’s the reason so many individuals are leery to trust someone else to manage their money. And it’s logical to be cautious when you know that someone will make their living off of the decisions they lead you to make with your wealth.
Camouflaged under the concept of “Business is Business” many stock brokers make recommendations to their clients that are not really in their best interests. An article found in Yahoo Finance Online* says,
“Many of those who work on Wall Street go through a process in which they gradually learn that what is perceived as “smart investing” is often unbelievable dumb. Specifically, they learn that many of the recommendations that Wall Street makes, and the transactions that Wall Street gets paid to facilitate, are not in their clients’ best interests.” The article goes on to talk about a former stockbroker named Josh Brown who left the business when he was forced to do things that weren’t really in the best interest of his clients. He is now a Financial Advisor and says that in this position his interests and his client’s interests are more closely aligned.
“Most people don’t recognize that there’s even a difference between a “Stock Broker” and a “Financial Advisor,” but there is, the article says. “Stock brokers generally work for brokerage firms and do not have to recommend trades that they think are in their clients’ best interests. Rather, they just have to recommend securities that are “suitable” (a much lower standard). Financial advisers, meanwhile, have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their clients.”
The article concludes by saying that someone looking for “sound financial advice” would be wise to choose a Financial Advisor over a Stockbroker.
Articles like these make Cornerstone proud to have a group of Financial Advisors who have a DUTY to provide their clients with more than just “suitable options”. Cornerstone advisors are required by law to make sure that they offer the very best options to anyone who comes to them for advice.
In addition to the state specific laws and regulations they follow, Cornerstone itself has set very strict procedures that must be followed when their Advisors are meeting with clients. As mentioned in our previous article, “The Importance of Fact Finding,” (http://cswta.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/the-importance-of-fact-finding/) we take collecting information about our clients VERY seriously. Why? Because to make the best suggestions, we must have all the information!
Giving Cornerstone an even stronger ability to do the best for their clients, is the huge number of Investment Relationships they have. Cornerstone works with more than 30 different A+ rated companies (You’ve surely heard of some of them, like John Hancock, ING, MetLife, Lincoln Financial and Humana) and so their agents have the ability to compare the rates of a number of companies and find the best option for you!
Even dealing with a Financial Advisor who represents a specific Insurance Company or bank can bring on a challenge, because they may recommend the best option that THEIR COMPANY has to offer, but it may not be the best option for you overall. Cornerstone itself is not an insurance company and does not have any of its own products, so when meeting with a Cornerstone representative, clients can be assured that their Advisor has no ulterior motive in suggesting a certain product or service.
Their job is to pick the product that will save you the most money, make you the most money, or best meet any of your specific needs. When seeking good financial advice, as the Yahoo article mentioned above, contacting a Financial Advisor, such as the 50+ representatives Cornerstone has employed is the smart way to go!
Feel free to contact any one of our representatives for financial advice completely free of charge! http://www.cornerstonewealthsc.com/agents.php