We have an account with a major brokerage firm,
why should I change?
Arthur Levitt, former SEC Chairman, wrote, "If you have more
than $50,000 to invest, you should fire your broker and find an investment
adviser. Brokerage firms would like you to think that they perform
the same functions as investment advisers. Many brokers call themselves
'financial consultants' or 'financial advisers.' But they're not the
same as independent investment advisers."
With a Registered Investment Advisor, you will still
need a custodian. A brokerage firm, bank, or insurance company can
serve as a custodian, but when it comes to investment advice, you
want independent, objective advice from someone other than a custodian. Bernard L. Madoff and Stanford Financial were both custodians.
We have had a relationship with a broker we
trust; can't I get good advice from my broker?
Warren Buffett says he learned that "the broker is not your friend.
He's more like a doctor who charges patents on how often they change
medicines. And he gets paid more for the stuff the house is promoting
than the stuff that will make you better."
How safe are my assets at Fidelity Investments?
At Fidelity, your assets are insured to 100 million. If you need
additional insurance, Fidelity can arrange for more.
What about fees? My brokerage firm charges $100
for a personal account and $50 for an IRA.
Fidelity charges no fees on personal accounts or IRAs.
What do you charge?
Our fees are very competitive. For a complete list of our fees, please
contact us and we will send you a copy
of our ADV.
My consultant has advisor on his card. Does
this mean he is a Registered Investment Advisor?
Possibly. If he is a RIA, he is required to give you a copy of his
ADV at the beginning of the relationship and offer a copy annually.
If there is any doubt, just ask him to send you a copy of his ADV.
The SEC or the state regulatory authority requires advisory firms
to file a Form ADV, which explains investment strategy, fee schedules,
ownership, potential conflicts, disciplinary record, and much more.
What is the difference between a Registered
Investment Advisor and a broker?
A Registered Investment Advisor is a more objective steward of your
money. It is our job to identify products and services that best meet
your goals. We do not receive commissions, bonuses, or incentives
from other firms for referring their services.
I see you have "CFP" after your name.
What does that mean?
A Certified Financial Planner... Former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt
wrote, "I recommend you find a certified financial planner (CFP)
- someone who takes a holistic approach to your finances - if you
want your adviser to consider your retirement, insurance, tax, and
What can a broker do that an RIA can't?
The only thing that an RIA can't do is earn commission off the purchase
or sale of securities.