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.
Financial advisors who work the senior marketplace are no strangers to the topic of senior financial abuse. For years, advisors and their FMOs, RIAs, broker-dealers, financial institutions, and regulators have grappled with the problem of how to protect seniors against people they know who steal their money.
Financial advisors often adopt an “it won’t happen to me” posture when it comes to getting caught violating state (or federal) regulations. However, a new report from the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) highlights the fallacy behind that thinking.
In the modern world, we know that narcissism is a common ailment. And many would argue that the financial-services business has its fair share of narcissists—advisors who are too busy contemplating their own “beauty” to care much about anyone or anything else. Not sure about that assessment? Consider some of its telltale symptoms.
So what does a no-worry advisory style look like? It involves putting clients at the heart of your practice in every way. It involves a robust commitment to comprehensive fact-finding, a full embrace of the new Department of Labor fiduciary standard (when it goes live next year), and a by-the-books approach to product suitability.