You are responsible for the investment of your assets or your family’s personal and retirement assets. You decide you do not have the time or requisite knowledge to do the work yourself. You determine your best solution is to select an investment expert and delegate the work to this professional who has specialized knowledge that will help you accumulate and preserve assets for your future use.
Although the above process certainly sounds reasonable you are faced with a daunting financial risk that can undermine the achievement of your financial goals. The source of the risk is the Wall Street marketing machine that wants to maximize the amount of revenue it produces from your assets.
The front of the marketing machine that you see is the nice, friendly financial advisor who wants to be your new best friend. It is his job to convince you he is the trustworthy “investment expert” you are seeking. He can make big money if he convinces you he is an expert, but he makes nothing if he fails.
Financial advisors do not have track records that document past results. In fact, they do not even have mandatory disclosure requirements that document credentials, ethics, and business practices. This lack of factual information creates three hidden sources of financial risk for you:
1. It maximizes the impact of advisor personalities and sales skills
2. It makes you accountable for identifying real experts
3. It opens the door to deceptive sales tactics
You have seen the headlines. The biggest financial service firms in the country have paid billions of dollars in fines for cheating investors. Why cheat? They make more money doing what is best for them than doing what is best for you. The foundation of cheating is deception. In fact, there are two onerous words that describe the two primary forms of deception:
Omission and Misrepresentation
Omission is what advisors don’t tell you. They make it your responsibility to uncover the facts. Misrepresentation is what advisors tell that is not true. They make it your responsibility to uncover the truth. Deception works because Wall Street knows most investors do not know how to uncover facts or the truth.
One of the most frequently used forms of deception is fake certifications that represent specialized knowledge. Here is how it works. You meet an advisor who claims to be a financial expert. He has a string of initials after his name that he uses to convince you he is a real financial expert.
Do not assume credentials equal expertise! At least 35% of the more than 250 certifications that are used by financial advisors are fake!
It’s Your Money!
The less you know about Wall Street and financial advisors, the more vulnerable you are to these sales tactics.
Do not be overwhelmed by an advisor’s personality or sales pitch. What’s the rush? Take a little extra time to make sure the advisor is a real financial expert. For example, you can use a free, online service to check the quality of the advisor’s certifications in five minutes: http://www.paladinregistry.com/research/credentials-financial-certifications. You can view a quality rating for a credential and read a brief report.
This free, easy-to-use service will help you protect your assets and your future financial security:
- You select a real financial expert
- You avoid fake experts who use deceptive sales tactics
Jack Waymire is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.