Our exhaustive library of resources and guidelines designed to help professionals maintain a sterling reputation founded on trust, ethics, and best practices.
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.
This is the last installment in our series about the most common real estate E&O insurance claims.
Under new rules effective May 16, 2016, the public can now invest in early-stage start-ups via online platforms that are subject to registration and disclosure requirements. For their part, consumers are limited in how much they can invest based on their income and net worth. The U.S. government permitted crowdfunded investing as part of its Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act and the SEC’s enabling “Regulation Crowdfunding.”
The financial-services industry has a perennial consumer-trust problem. Year after year, studies show that consumers don’t trust financial institutions or financial advisors to do what’s right. A recent survey reveals that consumer mistrust of the financial-services industry slipped even further in 2016.
You probably know this already. But allow us to remind you of the zeal with which attorneys target financial advisors who mess up. Here are six of their typical marketing strategies.
We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again. The vast majority of ethical/legal problems advisors encounter are self-inflicted. Sophisticated, large Ponzi schemers are outliers. Much more common are advisors who a.) make unforced errors through inattention or sloppiness or b.) aren’t well grounded in principle.
We’ve seen how easy it is for advisors to get distracted from the core values and ethical practices that produce long-term success. They focus on seeing more prospects, closing more sales, cross-selling more products, racking up more conference credits, graduating to a nicer office, buying a more luxurious home, etc. There’s nothing wrong with wanting those things. But remember that they are results, not root causes.
Financial advisors who have noticed cognitive declines in older clients as well as irregularities in their financial statements face tough decisions. Should they raise a red flag with authorities and risk angering family members? And should they slow or stop a requested financial transaction when they suspect exploitation?
If you are a financial professional or business owner, you can’t outsource ethics. You alone are responsible for your ethical conduct. Whether you own a business or just work for one, these principles will help you avoid customer complaints, legal sanctions, and E&O insurance claims.