Our exhaustive library of resources and guidelines designed to help professionals maintain a sterling reputation founded on trust, ethics, and best practices.
We've often said the vast majority of financial advisors are ethical and would no sooner rip off Grandma or Grandpa than lop off their own right arm. However, it’s also fair to say a much larger percentage of advisors have ethical or compliance lapses through ignorance, inattention, or just sheer sloppiness. This is especially true regarding the development and use of advertising materials.
You know the feeling. You’re driving down the road, albeit a little too fast, when the police pull you over. Because of your inattention, you receive a speeding ticket, and now must pay a fine of $250. Ouch! Although you know you messed up, you’re still not fine with writing such a large check.
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.
The securities industry has been taking it on the chin of late. A recent Reuters investigative report charged that 48 FINRA-member firms have at least 30 percent of their brokers with black marks on their records. This represents 4,600 brokers industry wide and billions of dollars of investor funds, Reuters said.
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 have a perennial trust problem. And it isn’t getting any better. According to a new survey published by wealth management firm Personal Capital, 32 percent of U.S. adults believe financial advisors are likely to take advantage of them. What’s more, 70 percent of the 2,178 American consumers surveyed said recent financial-industry news has given them second thoughts about trusting anyone with their money.
A fellow who bills himself as an industry marketing expert recently sent me an email. It was a very well put together, nice-looking offer to procure more than 200 marketing ideas. To learn them all, I had to provide him with my contact information. This guy made a critical error, from my perspective. He sent three of his marketing ideas as a teaser. Two of the three advocated dishonesty to get prospects attention. They weren’t whopping lies, just a little shy of 100 percent true.
As the number of consumers using social-media networking sites continues to grow, FINRA has provided ongoing guidance for financial advisors wanting to promote their firms online without getting into trouble.