Monday, December 22, 2008

Vote for What??

(Note: Voting on this issue on ended on 12/31/2008. It did not make it past the first round.)

Does your financial advisor put your interests first? It seems like a simple question with an obvious answer. Who would work with an advisor who did NOT put the clients' interests first at all times?

If you are working with an advisor who is a representative of a brokerage firm or bank, that's what you are doing. By definition, the primary obligation of a registered representative is to the broker-dealer he/she works for, not the clients. Moreover, when recommending products, a registered representative is only required to consider whether the product is "suitable", not whether the actions he or she is recommending are in the best interest of the client.

It sounds like so much legalize, but this is the difference between a fiduciary standard and the lesser standards most people who call themselves financial advisors are held to. This softer standard contributed tremendously to the chain of irresponsible actions that came together to create the sub-prime crisis and the near collapse of our economy.

Now, the Obama administration is asking for Americans to get involved and to vote for new ideas that can help change the course of our country in the future by visiting their website, Because there are hundreds of ideas already posted on, we've made it easy for you to get started. You can vote for a fiduciary standard for all financial advisors by clicking on the link in our sidebar. This will take you to the site where you can also look for other ideas and causes you may want to support.

This is an opportunity to speak up and say that you want a financial industry that puts consumers first. With enough votes we might make a difference. If we don't speak up the future will almost certainly be more of the same.

Until the law requires all advisors to put their clients first, you can find financial advisors who annually sign a fiduciary oath by visiting
NAPFA - the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. You can also learn more about fiduciary standards at Focus on Fiduciary. Learn what questions to ask and how to find an advisor who is truly on your side. You deserve nothing less!

Annette Simon

Copyright 2009 Garnet Group LLC

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