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A Due-Diligence ‘Condom’ for Physician Investors

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Using Financial Advisors with Increased Safety

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™]dr-david-marcinko8

Following the Bernie Madoff investment scheme, and related financial industry scandals, here are seven “red-flags” that should have alerted physician-investors to proceed with extreme caution. Always consider them before making an investment with any financial advisor [FA], registered representative [RR] or financial advisory firm, regardless of reputation, size, referral recommendation or so-called industry certifications and designations. In other words, according to Robert James Cimasi; MHA, AVA, and a Certified Medical Planner™ from Health Capital Consultants LLC, of St. Louis, MO;” trust no one and paddle your own canoe.”

Red Flags of Cautious Investing

As a former insurance agent, financial advisor, registered representative, investment advisor and Certified Financial Planner™ for more than a decade, the existence of any one of the following items may be a “red-flag” of caution to any investor:

  • Acting as its’ own custodian, clearance firm or broker-dealer, etc.
  • Lack of a well-known accounting firm review with regular reporting.
  • Unreliable or sporadic written performance reports.
  • Rates-of-return that don’t seem to track industry benchmarks.
  • Seeming avoidance of regulatory oversight, transparency or review.
  • Lack of recognized written fiduciary accountability in favor of lower brokerage “sales suitability” standards.
  • No Investment Policy Statement [IPS]. 


Let a word to the wise be sufficient going forward. But, in hindsight, a healthy dose of skepticism might have prevented this situation in the first place. As is the usual case, fear and greed often seem to rule the day. Just as there is no such thing as safe sex – just safer sex – there is no thing as safe intermediary investing. But, exercising some common sense will surely make investing with any financial advisor much safer. It’s like a condom for your money. 

For more information on the topic of fiduciary standards – which we have championed for the last ten years in our books, texts, white-papers, journal and online educational Certified Medical Planner™ program for FAs – watch out for our exclusive Medical Executive-Post interview with Bennett Aikin AIF®, Communications Coordinator of www.fi360.com coming in March. Ben, an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® did a great job with the tough questions submitted by our own Ann Miller; RN, MHA and Hope Hetico; RN, MHA, CMP™. Don’t miss it!


I am the Managing Partner for http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org and I agree with this message.


Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com


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3 Responses

  1. More Red Flags,

    Another “red flag’ is the so-called “free seminars” or “lunch and learn” diners that financial advisors frequently offer. These are usually nothing more than prospecting schemes.

    The sponsoring financial advisor typically is not even involved in scheduling. The “dog and pony shows” are simply outsourced to firms that specialize in demographic marketing activities. And, never give them your phone number or address.

    PS: Ditto for “free” initial visits.
    It’s just mass customization.



  2. Monty and Dr. Marcinko

    More on P4P

    It is well know that doctors are laboring under increasing pay-4-performance pressures.

    But, did you know that the bill that President Obama is expected to sign into law next week [HR-1], limits bonuses for executives at all financial institutions receiving government funds to no more than a third of their annual compensation. The bonuses must be paid in company stock that can be redeemed only when the government investment has been repaid [Think AIG]. That’s what I call pay-4-performance.

    Now, let’s all pay the “financial advisors” the same way.



  3. Monte and Acre,

    The UBS – Mess

    Doctors, accountants, lawyers, financial advisors and others hold offshore accounts that have been caught up in the UBS affair. Many are older people, or children who inherited accounts established years ago by relatives.

    The current issue is whether they evaded taxes by failing to report taxable securities in offshore accounts.

    Any thoughts?


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