Monday, December 12, 2016

Are You Really Getting the Best Financial Advice? Really.


Are you really getting the best financial advice? Really.


Just this past week, an article by Michael Wursthorn in The Wall Street Journal caught my undivided attention.
Here are some excerpts from the article, which was titled Merrill Brokers Get Ultimatum: Refer New Customers or Face a Pay Cut.” 
“Merrill Lynch will require its brokers to make at least two client referrals to other parts of parent Bank of America Corp. next year to avoid a cut in pay…
“…brokers who fail to refer at least two customers in 2017 to other parts of Bank of America – including its online brokerage platform Merrill Edge, its retail bank and other units – will have 1% shaved from their take-home pay or deferred compensation …
“…That is up from one referral this year…”
You probably can now understand why this article immediately caught my attention, right? How crazy and out-of-this-world ridiculous could this be?
 
You roll up your sleeves and work as hard as you can to save money toward your future. You want to get the best possible advice, so you do what you believe is prudent: go in to talk to someone sitting in a nice office wearing a nice looking suit at one of the largest financial institutions on the planet. And what do you know? That person is under pressure to get you to buy a certain product or face a pay cut.

In that situation, how likely are you to get objective recommendations about what will best for you? In my humble opinion, no matter how you look at it, this is an all-around bad deal for unsuspecting consumers. No one should have to deal with a financial advisor who has strings pulling on them to sell any specific product. Because that’s what you’d be sold. Whether it’s best for your needs would be a different story altogether. Yet things like these are happening everywhere. Everyday.

My hope, though, is that you don’t fall for any of these shenanigans by ensuring that you take financial advice only from someone who is truly independent and who sincerely has only your best interests in mind. Please tell me that you will do so.
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