August 18, 2010
-It is all too common when I sit down with clients that they have been sold an investment or annuity policy they do not fullyunderstand or purchased an investment without having heard the entire story if you will. Unfortunately certain investment products can have restrictive withdrawal parameters and limited access unless you pay inappropriate surrender charges. Of course by this time its too late for the consumer. I can understand taking responsibility for one's purchases but Investment Advisors typically hold themselves out as persons of trust to the public, for evidence of this you need look no further than most financial commercials. Most individuals seek out adviors known in their community or referred by a friend, and thus either let their guard down and assume the investment professional has their interests at heart, which in many cases is what they are told by the investment advisor.
Further, most consumers merely think investment professionals earn a salary and are not aware of the commission driven business or the fact that someone may be trying to earn a bonus based on production and thus are being guided to products based on pay and not need for the client. Brokers need to be reigned in and need to be held accountable, from all the conferences I have attended the majority of the time is spent on selling, not servicing the client. In a position of public trust there must be an element of transparency for public awareness.