Have you moved a lot of your clients from commission-generating accounts to fee-bearing advisory arrangements, also known as wrap accounts? Are you expecting a major correction to hit the markets in the coming months or years? Then it’s time to protect yourself against a surge of so-called “reverse churning” errors and omissions lawsuits.
Would you sell clients a financial product without fully understanding their appetite for risk? If you did, you’d likely violate numerous regulations mandating that you know your customers and only provide suitable financial products based on a full understanding of their needs.
Just because regulators have abandoned the fiduciary rule for insurance agents and securities brokers who sell retirement products—and who now will continue to be regulated only from a suitability standpoint— doesn’t mean you shouldn’t become a fiduciary yourself.
Amidst this ugly picture, you might be wondering how it’s possible to run a financial-services business when the public is in such a distrusting mood? Actually, the astounding trust gap may actually be an opportunity in disguise for financial professionals . . . for you.
A Central Florida investment advisor perpetrated a Ponzi scheme that cost consumers $3.6 million. According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Justin Troy Spearman, 29, convinced mutliple Florida residents to invest in a fraudulent Texas oil and gas scheme.
A New York insurance agent and his wife were indicted for trying to scam their deceased son’s life insurer. According to New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, the agent, Lawrence D. Rosenbaum, 65, and his wife, Thomasine Henderson, 65, both of Albany, New York, stole over $12,000 in life insurance cash values and tried to wrongfully obtain nearly $50,000 in life insurance benefits relating to the death of their son.
With the election of Donald J. Trump as president, most financial-services experts have predicted the demise of the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule. Although the measure partially took effect on June 9, 2017, full implementation was delayed until January 1, 2018 essentially postponing enforcement until then. The jury is still out on what will happen next year, but most predict further delays, a watering down, or the beginning of a full-blown repeal effort.
Have you and/or your firm optimized your business practices in order to prevent your senior clients from falling victim to financial abuse or fraud?
The Securities and Exchange Commission has sanctioned a New Jersey investment advisor with a love for God’s green Earth for ripping off $6 million from his clients and using it to pay for his mortgage and home landscaping services.