Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

How to figure out conflict of interest with FA

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • How to figure out conflict of interest with FA

    How does one go about figuring out if a FA has a conflict of interest? I'm sure these guys have to disclose to some agency that they are being paid by certain funds or companies and must disclose that commission or fee...

    Can someone tell me how to go about investigating that investigating that information. Is it possible to find out how much they got paid from these companies?

  • #2
    if they are selling something just assume there is a conflict.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'd start with just asking the advisor. If he seems evasive at all in describing how or how much he gets paid, I'd move on.
      Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with Dr. Jim & Peds. Just ask, and if they put up a fight or refuse to tell you, take that as a red flag. For example, we help our clients with insurance (term life and disability) as part of their financial plan, but we spreadsheet numerous carriers and tell our clients how much we are paid.

        Just about everything has some form of commission attached to it from the broker-dealer world and insurance world. If it is a flat-fee agreement or advisory account (ex: 1.00% on assets), that is the best way to avoid commission products, but even there you can still find a conflict of interest.

         

         

         

        Comment


        • #5
          Check out their ADV. For specific information on how to read and understand the ADV, my blog post on WCI will be instructive.
          Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

          Comment


          • #6




            I’d start with just asking the advisor. If he seems evasive at all in describing how or how much he gets paid, I’d move on.
            Click to expand...


            This and ask as many questions until you are comfortable. Either comfortable with staying or leaving.

            Comment


            • #7
              Open a briefcase filled with $1,000,000 and put it on their desk.  Excuse yourself to go to the restroom for a few minutes. When the appointment is over and all of your questions have been answered, return home with the briefcase and count the money.  If less than 1% of the cash is missing, they are reasonably trustworthy and you can proceed with the relationship.

              Comment


              • #8
                Stop wasting your time.  Accept a conflict of interest is highly likely.  Even if there is not at the time you do your due diligence, it doesn't protect you from the fact the situation could change in the future without your knowledge.   Decide if the cost is worth the service.  If not, DIY.

                Comment


                • #9
                  OP here.

                  I should have clarified. This FA group manages our practices 401k, profit sharing, defined benefits, cash balance plan.

                  Also, several of the partners use the group personally to help them manage their portfolios.

                  I am putting together a presentation for the partners to show them we need to switch to a flat fee only planner

                  This would be a just another feather in the argument. Documented conflicts plain as day would be helpful

                  I can't just ask because I need proof of the conflicts and how much money they are making from it for the presentation

                  Also. As we saw in the americas best 401k thread discussion with zgainers and kon, we saw how zgainers said they have NO financial incentives to refer clients to a particular platform etc. but as Kon showed in their ADV, they have a relationship with third parties which maybe lucrative


                  Also please keep in mind, several of the partners have professed their love for these FA. I mean partners are pretty entrenched and don't want to be proven wrong

                  Thanks for the advice



                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If only I had a million dollars!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This super helpful. I will read and get back to you!

                      Thanks Ms Fox.

                      Comment


                      • #12




                        OP here.

                        I should have clarified. This FA group manages our practices 401k, profit sharing, defined benefits, cash balance plan.

                        Also, several of the partners use the group personally to help them manage their portfolios.

                        I am putting together a presentation for the partners to show them we need to switch to a flat fee only planner

                        This would be a just another feather in the argument. Documented conflicts plain as day would be helpful

                        I can’t just ask because I need proof of the conflicts and how much money they are making from it for the presentation

                        Also. As we saw in the americas best 401k thread discussion with zgainers and kon, we saw how zgainers said they have NO financial incentives to refer clients to a particular platform etc. but as Kon showed in their ADV, they have a relationship with third parties which maybe lucrative

                        Also please keep in mind, several of the partners have professed their love for these FA. I mean partners are pretty entrenched and don’t want to be proven wrong

                        Thanks for the advice
                        Click to expand...


                        Okay, the additional details did help. You can always ask them to use a flat fee agreement (assuming you are not in a commission based account currently). Gives you peace of mind with the flat fee, but also keeps the partners happy because they get to keep their golfing buddies.

                        For example, we offer our clients both options with our advisory accounts. If you prefer to pay the AUM fee out of your portfolio, the option is there. If you prefer to pay out of pocket with a flat fee, the option is there. We are not offended when some asks to do it the other way, if anything we are happier since they are more comfortable.

                        You will never go wrong asking questions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Have you analyzed how much your group is paying in fees for them to manage the retirement-related plans?  If so, how does this correspond when they benchmark the plan?  They should be doing this every 3-5 years to stay compliant with Department of Labor recommendations for best practices.  If you are one of the fiduciaries for your plan you should definitely be requiring the advisor do this.  You can then take their fee numbers and run some simple Excel illustrations of what various fees do to net returns.  This is always eye-opening.

                           

                          Also, does your plan permit participants to hire their own advisors?  I have several physician clients whose plans are set up this way.  Under this option they can keep their FAs and you can select one that is better suited for you.  Maybe this is a solution that works for everyone.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I actually need more details looking into how much we are paying them in a yearly basis. Need to sit down with our CFO and find out

                            When you say benchmark the plan, I am not sure I follow. What does that comment mean? In the 401k everyone is doing their own thing. One good thing about the 401k is that it has a self directed brokerage window with TD amerotrade. This way I don't have to use the american funds they have in the platform

                            Maybe your comments are more geared to their management of the cash balance plan. That plan has a fixed payout of 3.5 percent. Any shortfalls to be paid for by partners. Lucky for them the market has done well and it's been easy to manage the account in climate.

                            In any case benchmarking the plan is tough. I'm not sure what benchmarks would even be appropriate given the 15 or 20 funds they have is in. I'm sure they have benchmarks but I don't know if they are cherry picking or what



                            Comment


                            • #15
                              American funds huh. That's a bad sign.

                               

                              Tread carefully. Your job may be at stake.
                              Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X