Protection & Security
What Makes an Independent Firm with Strong Affiliates an Attractive Place to Invest?
Its all the strength of choice and then about checks and balances...
Always the most important tool is your common sense and getting good answers to all of your questions. A good and reputable advisor will welcome questions and continue to answer your inquiries until you are comfortable that the route chosen is the right one for you. Remember, you always have the right to say no, the right to take additional time, and the right to look at other alternatives.
To give you the best advice, it is your responsibility to share with your advisor(s) your full financial situation and objectives/goals as well as any other alternatives you are considering.
By having strong independent providers of service, a client gains the benefit of each of those independent providers requiring the others be accountable to each other — all in the protection of the client. For example, while the advisor is independent, the broker/dealer still has responsibility to insure proper handing of the client’s account under FINRA. As another example, the Custodian has the responsibility to raise issues if seemly unsuitable or very unusual transactions are being made by the broker/dealer & advisor while they are the custodian of the assets. These are all just part of an important system of checks and balances.
Some additional questions for good investment management:
Does the advisor have access to the leading money managers and service providers?
How does the advisor hold those money managers and providers accountable?
Does the advisor hold themselves accountable to the client by providing regular performance reports that provide benchmarks to measure success or failure?
Is the advisor always willing to answer any question and spend the time to give the client as much information as the client needs?
Is the advisor free from special incentives for specific products, proprietary products, and of conflicts of interest?