Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Can Fiduciary Instincts Survive in a Sales Culture?

"The Mole," Money Magazine's undercover financial planner, has been reporting from the Financial Planning Association's annual convention:
After the [ethics] presentation, I wandered into the exhibit hall for a little food and drink. Walking past some of the booths, I was pleased to see many financial institutions that preach low-cost, long-term investing represented.

Unfortunately, there was a greater representation of institutions that deliver sub-par performance along with high sales fees - these funds are not so good for the consumer, but can pay handsomely to us financial planners.

In spite of the idealized view we planners have of our profession and our duty to the consumer, there are inherent conflicts. We want to do well for you but we also want to build wealth for ourselves. To pretend these conflicts don't exist may well condemn financial planning to that of a sales occupation.

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