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5 things Financial Advisors Don’t Want You to Know

When I worked for Morgan Stanley and E*Trade, there were typically things I noticed advisors would “forget” to mention. Not all advisors of course, but these are things that sometimes don’t get eagerly shared. Having these insights will allow you to know what questions to ask so you don’t get taken advantage of. There are […]

When I worked for Morgan Stanley and E*Trade, there were typically things I noticed advisors would “forget” to mention. Not all advisors of course, but these are things that sometimes don’t get eagerly shared. Having these insights will allow you to know what questions to ask so you don’t get taken advantage of.

  1. There are fees in your account on top of your managed account fee for the investments in your account. This typically adds another 0.5%.
  2. Financial Advisor relationships with mutual fund managers influence what you’re invested in. Mutual fund managers will typically “wine and dine” advisors and their clients in order to get the advisor to use their funds in their client portfolios. These funds tend to have higher fees than you can get from an index fund and the performance isn’t usually better to justify the higher fee. 
  3. Your portfolio is most likely very similar if not exactly like a robo-advised portfolio, which you could get for a lot cheaper than the cost of your advisor. Keep in mind that it doesn’t all come down to fees with advisors. If they are offering you value in the form of planning and helping you stay on track and invested properly then it is well worth the fee to work with an individual over a robo advisor. The problem becomes if they aren’t offering you much service other than investing your money.
  4. They prioritize clients with higher balance accounts. They literally sort highest to lowest balance when they sit down to call clients. Most of the time, there isn’t enough time to get to all their clients, so those on the lower end of their accounts get ignored over time. 
  5. Fee-based may not be your best move. If you’re the client getting ignored as the years pass, but you’re still in a recurring fee program for your investments, then it may not be worth it. You can create your own portfolio for a fraction of what they charge. Take a look at this video for help. Fiduciaries are required to work in your best interest by law and many fee-based advisors sell that, but then don’t keep up the level of service that they led off with. Paying annually for something may add up to a lot more over time than paying one time, so running the numbers can save you a lot. 

Why am I telling you this?

There are a lot of flaws in the financial advice system that cost clients money. The money you spend unnecessarily can go towards building your own wealth. At the end of the day, it comes down to transparency. You should know what you are paying and what you receive in exchange for that fee. You should also know your alternatives to factor in which program/investment/relationship is best for you.

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