Buyer Beware

Did you get good advice or just a good sales pitch?



Always examine motives!

The vast majority of today's "fiduciary" advisors are also licensed

to receive financial incentives for promoting certain investments.


Why is it legal for fee-paid advisors to also be commission-paid sales reps?    

Great question. It's a direct conflict of interest for "fiduciary" advisors to recommend investments they get paid to promote. But the current law doesn't require them to eliminate this conflict; merely to disclose it.

Don't the "vast majority" of advisors claim to be "fee-based"?

Yes they do - but "fee-based" is just a clever play on words used by advisors who are also licensed sales reps. FirsTrust is "Fee-Only": we only hold a license to charge a fee for advice and service. The difference is easy to verify by reading the firm's SEC Form CRS. 

How can anybody ever know when this conflict of interest exists? 

Ask the "fiduciary" advisors if they are "dual registered": with both the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to charge fees for advice and with FINRA to sell financial products.   

What can we do about it?

First and foremost, we lead by example: voluntarily refusing to hold any sales licenses and operating at all times under the Fee-Only Fiduciary Oath as Members of The National Association of Personal Financial Planners (NAPFA).

Additionally, we've taken our advocacy for consumer fairness to Washington D.C., lobbied members of Congress, and protested to SEC commissioners on behalf of The Institute for the Fiduciary Standard.

What can you do about it?

Before you decide to work with any financial advisor, be sure to ask the right questions : Before you trust any financial institution, read the fine print to see all the different ways  they profit from your investment choices.  


We are happy to provide further information on this important subject. (386) 788-3737 



Objectivity + Independence + Expertise

Insist upon all three!


OBJECTIVITY: If you want financial advice that is never influenced by sales incentives, choose a Fee-Only advisor - who doesn't hold any brokerage sales licenses.

INDEPENDENCE: If you want investment choices that aren't dictated by a company profit agenda, choose a company that doesn't profit from your investment choices.

EXPERTISE: If you want financial expertise, choose an actual financial expert.


Trust... but verify with your Personal Financial Website

Constantly updated values of everything you own with interactive tools to monitor cash flows, analyze progress and collaborate with your advisor(s) - plus a secured, private document vault for everything you (and your heirs) may need to access instantly, from an internet connection anywhere in the world- 24/7.


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(386) 788-3737

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