I've met with a great number of prospective clients who are surprised to learn that the advice they have or might receive from traditional wirehouses is anything but unbiased. But, as we financial pros know, it often turns out that commissions, kickbacks, or quotas from specific product providers can drive advisors to offer advice that benefits themselves, not their clients.
Of course, choosing the right financial advisor is an important decision and requires careful research and consideration. At Lindsey & Lindsey, it's our belief, however, that choosing an independent financial advisor might be one of the most crucial decisions individuals can make.
The Independent Difference
Here’s how I see it: Independent advisors are different. When I founded Lindsey & Lindsey Wealth Management in 2012, I did so with my clients in mind. I was tired of an industry that was dominated by commissions, product loyalties and traditional banking institutions, and I wanted to offer my clients freedom from that system. The beauty of independent financial advisors, like our team here at Lindsey & Lindsey, is that we value our promises to our client more than those made with large providers.
As Amy Roberts, Money Features Writer for Money Savings Expert, explains, independent financial advisors are:
“…able to advise and sell products from any provider right across the market. Therefore, you should get the very best advice and products tailored just for you.”
Choosing to partner with an independent advisor offers a number of benefits. Let's examine three:
1. Zero Limits
When it comes to helping our clients succeed, we eliminate all barriers. Unlike advisors who are restricted by their parent company or financial firm employer from offering a full array of investment solutions, we at Lindsey & Lindsey are not limited by constricting contracts and limited product providers. In today’s market, there are thousands of different options, products and investment options to choose from. The advisors here at Lindsey & Lindsey work tirelessly to present a highly diversified and personalized portfolio that is unique to each of our clients. Unlike restricted agents and company sales representatives, we are able to pull from a plethora of products and providers when creating a plan that is designed to lead our clients to financial success.
2. “Client First” Clause
This is our motto! Our clients always come first. However, while this may seem obvious to you, not all financial decisions made by many wirehouse advisors are beneficial to the client. This is precisely the reason why I left the restricted financial sector and started my own independent practice.
The requirement to act in the client’s best interest is known as “fiduciary duty.” But to the surprise of just about every one, this duty is sometimes optional. Mindy Diamond, President and CEO of Diamond Consultants, explains in an article for Forbes,
“For advisor models other than RIAs the advisor is held to a lower ‘suitability’ standard, meaning that all the investments made on behalf of the client must be suitable for the client when they are purchased.”
The 'suitability' standard sets a low bar. Our team at Lindsey & Lindsey adheres to a higher standard, ensuring that every investment is in the best interest of our clients both now and in the future.
3. Elimination of Incentives
One of our greatest assets is our ability to compare and contrast investments against each other. Our team of registered, certified professionals act in a pressure-free environment. They are free to weigh every option in their search for the best fit for a client's unique needs. Further, because we're certified by the CFP Board of Standards, our clients can be assured that we're well-versed in a wide range of financial topics and products.
Most people's anxiety concerning working with financial advisors is due to horror stories and media portrayals of corrupt brokers and wealth managers who are “playing the game” for their own financial gain. Because we are independent financial advisors with strong backgrounds and professional ethics, our clients can set those fears aside! Our independence means that we are here to help our clients achieve their goals, not line someone else's pockets with our clients’ hard won gains.
When it comes to managing our clients’ wealth and building their future, objectivity is key. Trust must be at the forefront of the relationship between financial advisor and client. As independent financial advisors, it is our goal to bring our clients the most objective and personalized planning options to ensure their success in their future. Making the decision to hire a financial advisor is both important and difficult. At Lindsey & Lindsey Wealth Management, we'd try to make that decision easy for individuals interested in becoming our clients.
A BETTER WAY
If you are tired of Wall Street shenanigans and unethical business practices but still love working with people in the hopes of helping them enjoy a brighter financial future, you’d do well to find a new and less-conflicted business model. Take a look at our consumer-facing website, www.LindseyAndLindsey.com, and spend some time looking around this advisor-facing site, www.TheBoldAdvisor.com. If you like what you see and would be interested in exploring your options, get in touch and I’d be happy to discuss what it might look like for you to join the Lindsey & Lindsey team.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,
John Lindsey, CFP®