Free Information: Fiduciary responsibility
Who does your broker or financial advisor work for? You, or the company who's products he or she is selling? Strategic Asset Management undertakes a fiduciary responsibility with all its clients. We do not accept payment from other parties for recommending certain stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or any other investment. The investments we buy for you are the same we invest in.
Examples of 'confused' loyalties are common in the financial industry. Here are but a few:
I use TD Ameritrade as a custodian for most of my clients' money. Here is a video of CEO of TD Ameritrade explaining the difference between an RIA (which is what I am) and a stockbroker.
The current SEC fraud allegation against Goldman Sachs hit the news in April 2010. Whether Goldman Sachs committed fraud is yet to be determined but it is very apparent they served 'too many masters' which created severe conflicts of interest. Some of the emails revealed in the investigation show Goldman Sachs people were very derisive of what they were selling to their 'customers' Why do business with someone who is not looking out for your best interest?
Brian Kennedy of Jeffries and Cardionet - 2009 November - Health stock analyst Brian Kennedy places a 'sell' rating on stock Cardionet (symbol: BEAT) Very quickly he was under severe pressure (and even a SEC complaint) for doing so. He is eventually vindicated on his call but quits due to the pressure. Fortunately this story has a happy ending as he was right on his research and he found another job. Integrity research #1 and Integrity research #2 and WSJ.com