August 29, 2010
It seems to me that the Investment Advisors' lobby and marketing efforts want the public to believe that my Financial Advisors at Wells Fargo and Merrill Lynch are stock brokers out for their own commission incentive.
I don't believe this is true. What does the SEC say about that? What can an FA do to me that an IA can't?
My Financial Advisor says FAs working at the major investment houses are "wolves in wolves clothing." As oppossed to IAs who are "wolves in lambs clothing."
FAs compensation is transparent. Not always so with IAs. Many say that they are fee based only. However, that is only partially true. They make commissions on annuities, insurance, bonds, ect.
The SEC audits the major investment houses regularly and the investment houses audit their own offices regularly. The independent investment advisors do not get near the same scrutiny.
I think the SEC needs to make it clear to the public that in reality no title or professional designation will necessarily help me personally achieve my goals. It comes down to the individual. Fiduciary standard or not. The rest is just marketing.