Talking Politics With Clients
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InvestmentNews advocates lying to clients, but I think if your advisor doesn’t have integrity, you can stop there and find a new advisor.

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.

Q&A: Can you be my executor?
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Sadly, we have to say no. Even though we won’t be your executor, we are still here to help your executor, trustee, and loved ones through the estate maintenance and settlement process.

Five Things You Can Control: Investment Costs
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We do not believe that investing should be expensive.

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.

Finding Someone You Can Trust
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Those who believe that more regulation is the answer don’t understand how human nature works.

How to Monitor Your Financial Advisor
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When seeking a financial advisor, you should find out if they are willing to sign a fiduciary oath putting your interests above those of their employer.

Billing Client Accounts to the Client’s Greatest Benefit
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Investment managers can bring clients greater savings by carefully considering how they bill different types of accounts.

Best Practices for Trusts, Foundations, and Endowments
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Even if a committee has contracted with “prudent experts,” the Committee never delegates its fiduciary responsibility.

Fulfilling Your Fiduciary Duty as a Trustee or Board Member
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Despite the fact that millions serve in a fiduciary role, many are wholly unaware of their legal responsibilities.

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

Language Matters: Fee-Based vs. Fee-And-Commission Based
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The term “fee-based” was created specifically to confuse consumers.

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.

You Want An Advisor Who Keeps You From “The Big Mistake”
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Real financial advisors stand between you and the Big Mistake.

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.

Ameriprise Sued By Ameriprise Employees Over Excessive 401k Fees
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A fundamental fiduciary principle is to avoid self-dealing.

An Immediate Annuity Is Probably Never The Right Answer
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The Journal of Financial Planning featured a nice column by Harold Evensky entitled “These Innovative Research Papers Deserve Your Attention.”

5 Good Reasons to Hire a Financial Advisor and 2 Bad Ones
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The job of a financial advisor is to do what you would do if you had the time and expertise.

How To Protect Yourself From Investment Rip Offs
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Six ideas to make sure you aren’t falling victim to commission-based products and services.

Investment Stewardship Has Come a Long Way
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Advisors have helped to shift fund management toward stewardship, but many fund companies still have room for improvement.

Only 20% of Advisors Avoid Active Management Strategies
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The majority of advisors make the mistake of having significant or moderate use of actively managed funds.

Looking Beyond the Bottom Line
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The Principles for Responsible Investment is leveraging its network in noteworthy ways.

Three Insights About Bad 401(k) Plans From Recent Lawsuit
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“America’s leader in financial planning” is ill-serving its own employees.

Cost-Benefit Analysis for Financial Planning
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The cost of commission-based advisors are so hidden that you may be paying more than you realize.

Investors Greatly Undervalue Safeguarding Their Money
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Ten principles of safeguarding your money applied to the latest investment scandal.

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Services Not Provided
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A computer algorithm cannot help you with these things.

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Incomplete Rebalancing Algorithm
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See our review of the two pros and nine cons of how Schwab monitors and rebalances portfolios.

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Built on a Faulty Premise
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It is a great marketing campaign, and the service is a wonderful idea, but the asset allocations of SIPs aren’t actually that intelligent.

Vanguard Sends A Letter To Directors, Will A Stick Follow?
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A board of directors is supposed to be accountable to the shareholders but sometimes they need a reminder.

Are Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) Funds Better Investments?
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“What do you think of the idea of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) implemented simply by investing in something like the Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)?”

Did Obama Violate an SEC Regulation?
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From the blind eye of the law, this seems like a violation of SEC regulation.

There Are No Such Things As “Fiduciary Rules”
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The principles of a fiduciary cannot be condensed into a set of rules.

What Does It Mean To Be A Fee-Only Fiduciary?
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Most investors are not aware of an important separation in the professionals of the financial services industry.

Dr. Seuss to Zombie Directors – Will You Please Go Now!
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In theory, the directors of a corporation are hired to provide independent oversight and protect shareholder interests. In practice, they’ve developed a reputation as country club chums with the executive managers.

Other People’s Property
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Investors have every right to question whether a fund company can cast an impartial vote.

Fiduciary Fight Part 5: Lobbyists Won’t Help
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“We’d be fools to underestimate their tenacity and creativity when it comes to protecting their executive bonus pools.”

Fiduciary Fight Part 4: Fiduciary Oath
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“Take a version of this fiduciary oath to the brokers down the street and ask them to sign it. If they refuse, ask why.”

Fiduciary Fight Part 3: Distinguish Between Brokers And Advisors
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I love that Bob Veres thinks that labeling someone as a broker or advisor would help bring clarity. It shows his optimism.

Jorge Posada And Jose Contreras Failed To Safeguard Their Finances
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Their attorney, New York-based Barry Lax, says the two ballplayers are the latest professional athletes abused by predatory financial advisors.

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