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HOW THE “FIDUCIARY CONUNDRUM” DEFIES PHYSICS?

And … How We Can Fix It

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA MEd CMP®

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

The Rules As I Understand Them

Securities industry Regulations and Regulators recognize that (registered) investment advisors give advice, while stock brokers sell brokerage products. Thus, the Series 65 license is required to become a financial advisor, while Series 7 licensed stock-brokers are not (and cannot) be fiduciary advisors.

So, advice is subject to a fiduciary duty, while product sales (brokerage) activity is not. The ratio of fiduciary advice to brokerage sales is about 1:99. So, what does that tell you?

A Contentious and Complicated Issue

This issue is so contentious and complicated today that lawyers are needed to define each and every term, engagement, transaction, brokerage or advisory contract, etc. It is far too amazingly contorted and complicated for most; including me; and we have even discussed the industry machinations and political double-talk on this ME-P previously; from some vary sharp industry experts, too.

The Fiduciary Conundrum

The “work-around” for these rules is industry “dual-registration”. Simply put, just get licensed to do both; as I did. Charge a commission when selling stuff and charge a fee for advice. And ideally, do both at the same time; while getting paid for both sides.

As a naïve luddite, I learned this little truism in financial planning school decades ago, and as a doctor and fiduciary for my patients at all times, almost vomited.

Of course, there were more sophisticated students in our classes who regurgitated the standard industry opinion: “We’ll give the client a financial plan for free IF we can sell commissioned products.”

Ideally this meant a fat and fully commissioned wrap account, whole-life insurance policy, LTCI policy; etc. Or, sell products and collect fat ongoing, and often unrecognizable AUM fees [fee-only], too!

From the stock broker-advisor’s POV, it was “Heads I win – tails you loose” for the client. Now, you know why I am a former or reformed certified financial planner.

The Physics Split

Know that as a pre-medical college student years earlier, I leaned about the Werner Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, in physics class.

Of course,  true Advice – is not Sales …  and Sales is not Advice. Both should never be; simultaneously. So, let’s ditch dual registration and decide which to pursue … and then proceed accordingly. Both sales and advice have risks and benefits to client and producer; both have advantages and disadvantages to both; as well.

WHY? Just like the Werner Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle; it shouldn’t [shan’t] be both; at once.

NOTE: In quantum mechanics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is any of a variety of mathematical inequalities asserting a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties of a particle, known as complementary variables, such as position x and momentum p, can be known simultaneously.

So, in physics, I can tell you where you are -OR- how fast you are going; but not both. Thus, if it is product sales; it is not advice.

Today, since “dual registration” is still allowed, my suggestion to clients is to seek a fiduciary in all matters 24/7/354; get it in writing, and try  to avoid arbitration and “best interest” or BICE clauses! Run from [fee-based and fee-only] AUM fees, too.

PS: I am not against Series #7 representatives and product sales. Salesmen/women often provide a valuable service and should be appropriately compensated. I only object when fees, costs, charges and commissions are duplicative, excessive and/or not fully disclosed to the client. Since excessive is an arbitrary term; full disclosure is the key ingredient.

Assessment

So – How am I wrong, mistaken and/or what did I miss? Do tell! Should We – Can We – Ditch Dual Registration [DDR]?

Oh! In the future, I also hope that State fiduciary standards will potentially cover both non-ERISA and ERISA situations, and employee plan participants will have access to full discovery rights, the one thing the industry fears most.

But, that’s a discussion for another day and time.

Conclusion

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Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

https://www.crcpress.com/Comprehensive-Financial-Planning-Strategies-for-Doctors-and-Advisors-Best/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781482240283

***

Form ADV Part II [The Essential Document]

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Lifting the “Veil of Secrecy” on Selecting Financial Advisors

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™]

DEM white  shirtBy law, financial advisors must provide you with a form ADV Part II or a brochure that covers the same information. Even if a brochure is provided, ask for the ADV. Today, it may even be online.

While it is acceptable, even desirable, for the brochure to be easier to read than the ADV, the ADV is what is filed with the appropriate state or SEC. If the brochure reads more like a slick sales brochure or the information in the brochure glosses over the items on the ADV to a high degree, one should consider eliminating the advisor from consideration.

Types of Advisors

Registering with a state or SEC gives an advisor a fiduciary duty to the client. This is a high standard under the law. There are several types of advisors who are exempt from registering and filing an ADV.

First, there are registered representatives (brokers).  Brokers have a fiduciary responsibility to their firms regardless of whether they are statutory employees or independent contractors.

Second are attorneys and accountants whose advice is “incidental” to their legal or accounting practices. But, why would one hire someone whose advice is “incidental” to his primary profession?

A top-notch advisor is a full-time professional and should be registered.  One should insist that their advisor be registered.

***

Lifting veil of secrecy

[The Author in Chicago Seeking Fiduciary Transparency]

***

The ADV will describe the advisor’s background and employment history, including any prior disciplinary issues. It will describe the ownership of the firm and outline how the firm and advisor are compensated. Any referral arrangements will be described. If an advisor has an interest in any of the investments to be recommended, it must be listed as well as the fee schedule. There is also a description of the types of investments recommended and the types of research information that is used.

Assessment

A review of the ADV should result in an alignment of what the advisor said during the interview and what is filed with the regulators. If there is a clear discrepancy, choose another advisor. If it is unclear, discuss the issue with the advisor.

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Conclusion

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How Stock-Brokers Execute Trades

What Every Physician-Investor Should Know

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And … Why Trade Execution Isn’t Instantaneous!

By Dr. Gary L. Bode MSA CPA CMP [Hon]; PC

Dr. Gary Bode; CPA, MSA, CMP

Many physician investors who trade through online brokerage accounts assume they have a direct connection to the securities markets.

But, they don’t. When you press “enter,” your order is sent over the Internet to your broker – who in turn decides which market to send it to for execution. A similar process occurs when you call your broker to place a trade.

While trade execution is usually seamless and quick, it does take time. And prices can change quickly, especially in fast-moving markets. Because price quotes are only for a specific number of shares, MD investors may not always receive the price they saw on their screen or the price their broker quoted over the phone. By the time your order reaches the market, the price of the stock could be slightly – or very – different.

Note: No SEC regulations require a trade to be executed within a set period of time. But if firms advertise their speed of execution, they must not exaggerate or fail to tell investors about the possibility of significant delays.

Tip: To avoid buying or selling a stock at a price higher or lower than you wanted, place a limit order rather than a market order. A limit order is an order to buy or sell a security at a specific price. A buy limit order can only be executed at the limit price or lower, and a sell limit order can only be executed at the limit price or higher. When you place a market order, you can’t control the price at which your order will be filled.

Example: You want to buy the stock of a “hot” IPO that was initially offered at $9, but don’t want to end up paying more than $20 for the stock. Place a limit order to buy the stock at any price up to $20. By entering a limit order rather than a market order, you will not be caught buying the stock at $90 and then suffering immediate losses as the stock drops later in the day or the weeks ahead.

***

technology-medicine

***

Caution: Your limit order may never be executed because the market price may quickly surpass your limit before your order can be filled. But by using a limit order you also protect yourself from buying the stock at too high a price. 

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ABOUT

Dr. Gary L. Bode was Chief Executive Officer of Comprehensive Practice Accounting, Inc., a firm specializing in providing tax solutions to medical professionals. Originally, he was a board certified podiatrist and managing partner of a multi-office medical practice for a decade before earning his Master of Science degree in Accounting from the University of North Carolina. He then served as Chief Financial Officer [CFO] for a private mental healthcare facility. Today, Dr. Bode is a nationally known Certified Public Accountant, financial author, educator, and speaker. Areas of expertise include producing customized managerial accounting reports, practice appraisals and valuations, restructurings, and innovative financial accounting as well as proactive tax positioning and tax return preparation for healthcare facilities. He has been quoted in Newsweek.

Conclusion

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Enter the Financial Advisory Gurus?

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Understanding the Nexus Between Fame and Quality

[By Rick Kahler CFP®]  http://www.KahlerFinancial.com

  • “I see that firm’s ads everywhere.”
  • “His books are best-sellers.”
  • “That advisor does all kinds of free seminars for retirees.”
  • “She’s on TV all the time.”

The Case … For?

When a financial advisor, someone with a radio or television show, or an author of financial books becomes well-known, it’s easy to assume you can trust that person’s advice. This isn’t necessarily the case.

Recently I was selected by an Internet community site called moneytips.com as one of their top 50 “social influencers.” This is a list of professionals in the areas of wealth and personal finance who use social media and other Internet tools effectively.

Among the top three on this list are Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman, whose books and advice include a great deal of solid information to help people get out of debt, manage money well, and provide for the future. Many others in the top 50 are respected financial journalists and advisors.

The Case … Against?

However, the list also includes a few advocates for high-risk investment methods, proponents of dubious get-rich-quick schemes, and purveyors of poorly researched advice. Those who put together the list focused on how well people established a presence on the Internet and used technology to communicate. That’s an assessment completely unrelated to the question of whether the advice or information being communicated was worthwhile.

Financial Planning

Financial planning, just like any other field, has a solid core of practitioners who quietly and ethically serve their clients. It also has its gurus, its outstanding marketers, and its fringe practitioners with extreme ideas. The challenge for consumers is not to assume fame and quality always go together.

Linking Fame and Quality?

Here are a few suggestions for keeping a balanced perspective about famous or familiar financial faces:

1. Knowing about a professional isn’t the same as knowing a professional. Everyone you know may have heard of Noted Local Advisor. That’s not the same as being able to recommend him or her. Get recommendations first-hand, from people who actually are clients of a firm or have used someone’s plan or advice. Ask specific questions about what they’ve done and how it worked for them.

2. Yes, there are shortcuts to building wealth, but they come with very high risks. For most of us, the best ways to build wealth are gradual and even boring: saving part of every paycheck, living on less than we earn, and investing for the long term in a well-diversified portfolio of different asset classes. It’s natural to wish for an easier, faster way, but that desire can make you more vulnerable to high-risk schemes and even scams.

3. Even if a method of building wealth is perfectly legitimate and works for others, it still may not be a good fit for you. If you’re a reclusive introvert, for example, sales is probably not your best path to success.

4. Apply the same common sense and skepticism to financial products or wealth-building methods that you would use anywhere else. For example, you probably don’t assume that a car’s advertised gas mileage is what you’ll actually get under real-world conditions. In the same way, it’s a good idea to assume that your real-world results from a proposed investment or business will be lower than the advertised numbers.

5. Don’t assume every financial guru is a crook. Many reputable professionals can teach you a great deal about money. Your job is to learn the financial basics so you can evaluate them with some educated skepticism.

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Assessment

And always keep in mind that a product or idea is not the same thing as the selling of that product or idea. The true genius of some financial “experts,” after all, is marketing.

Conclusion

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Fiduciary Financial Advisor versus Non-Fiduciary FAs

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Understanding the Difference

Dr. DEMBy Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™

GOAL: To understand the difference between fiduciaries and non-fiduciaries, examine the SEC conduct rules.

Stock-Brokers (non-fiduciaries) are subject to FINRA Conduct Rule 2310(a) which reads:

In recommending to a customer the purchase, sale or exchange of any security, a member shall have reasonable grounds for believing that the recommendation is suitable for such customer upon the basis of the facts, if any, disclosed by such customer as to his security holdings and as to his financial situation and needs.

A fiduciary follows a higher standard of conduct: 

A fiduciary duty is an obligation to act in the best interest of another party. A fiduciary obligation exists whenever the relationship with the client involves a special trust, confidence and reliance on the fiduciary to exercise his discretion or expertise in acting for a client. A person acting in a fiduciary capacity is held to a high standard of honesty and full disclosure in regard to the client and must not obtain a personal benefit at the expense of the client.

Five primary responsibilities as a fiduciary to clients are:

  • To always put clients’ interest first
  • To act with utmost good faith
  • To provide full and fair disclosure of all material facts
  • Not to mislead clients, and
  • To expose all conflicts of interest and all compensation to clients.

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Assessment

Conclusion

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Why Doctors Must Consider Fees When Building A Retirement Nest Egg

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Understanding Mutual Fund Share Classes and Costs

[By Rick Kahler MS CFP® ChFC CCIM]

www.KahlerFinancial.com

Doctors – Do you want to add $500,000 or more to your retirement nest egg? Pay attention to the fees that mutual funds charge you for investing your money. Few physicians or small investors understand that the same mutual fund can charge a wide range of fees, depending on the share class you select.

For many medical professionals and most Americans, the best way to build wealth is to live on less than you make and invest 15% to 35% of your paycheck into mutual funds. It’s essential to find funds that are diversified among five or more asset classes.

The Choice After Mutual Fund Selection

Once you’ve found a mutual fund with a mix of appropriate asset classes, there’s one more choice to make. What class of shares should you buy? The most popular classes are A, B, and I shares; however, many funds offer even more classes like C, F, and R shares.

The difference between the classes has nothing to do with the underlying management or structure of the mutual fund. All share classes own the same stocks or bonds. The difference lies in the fees you pay the mutual fund for their services and for commissions to brokers who sell the funds.

Types of Share Classes

Many A shares and almost all B, C, F, and R shares impose sales commissions, often called “loads,” which are based on the amount you invest. For example, A shares usually charge you a one-time commission ranging from 4.0% to 5.75% of your initial investment. With B shares there is no up-front commission, but they will charge you a stiff penalty to sell the funds in the early years and will impose an additional annual commission often ranging from .25% to 1.00% a year. Some discount brokers will waive the upfront commission on A shares for their customers.

Typically the best shares to purchase are the I class, which don’t have any commissions associated with them and offer the lowest management fees of any other share class. The downside is that I shares often require a minimum investment ranging from $10,000 to $1,000,000. Financial advisors often have relationships with discount brokers that allow them to purchase the shares for clients in smaller amounts.

Fee Comparisons

It pays to compare fees.

For example, a comparison of fees available at the website of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (finra.org/fundanalyzer) shows that a $10,000 investment in the Invesco S&P 500 Index fund’s A shares will cost you $129 a year, while the same investment in the C shares will run $163. If instead you invest in the Fidelity Spartan 500 Index fund you will pay just $11.50 annually, which is over 1% less than the Invesco A shares.

The Savings

It’s surprising what a 1% savings means to your retirement nest egg. According to a study by the Vanguard Group reported by Jack Hough in SmartMoney.com, if a 25-year old saves 9% of his pay in a mutual fund, paying .25% a year in expenses versus 1.25% amounts to having an additional $500,000 by age 65.

Assessment

With all that said, most investors don’t have either the knowledge or the time to construct a diversified portfolio of mutual funds that will carry them through to retirement. Paying a fee or commission for advice can ultimately save you a lot of money. There are advisors who will help smaller investors select investments for an hourly or flat fee. Others charge fees based on the size of your portfolio, which normally range from .3% to 1.5%.

Conclusion

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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It’s all About Personal Financial Management [PFM]

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Building Deeper Relationships with Medical Professionals and other Clients

To build deeper relationships with their clients and customers, financial advisors, wealth managers, brokerages and banks need to move away from just being an account to store money – and more towards helping their customers take control of their finances. Adding personal financial management (PFM) tools are a great way to start.

Right now, medical professional clients and many customers, are turning to third party sites to help them with their finances. But, a recent Javelin reports shows that customers are 3-x as likely to trust a bank with these services.

Below are some reasons why FAs, WMs and SBs should consider providing PFM capabilities (such as StatementRewards’ Purchase Insights) to physicians and lay customers.

Source: truaxis.com

Conclusion

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Are “Financial Advisors” True Professionals or Employed Sales Representatives for Retail Products?

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White House Sides With Sales Reps On Overtime

Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™

[ME-P Editor-in-Chief]

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

As the US Supreme Court is preparing to review the contentious debate about overtime pay for sales reps, the US Solicitor General has filed an amicus curaie, or friend of the court brief, and sided with pharma reps. The move is not surprising, given that the US Department of Labor has, several times, taken a similar step in federal courts around the country where cases were heard.

Far Reaching Implications?

The review is expected to have far-reaching implications for the pharmaceutical industry, and I believe the financial services industry, as well. Why?

Both sectors have been fighting a growing number of cases nationwide over the past several years, but has had mixed results as the issue has continually divided the courts. At the same time, drug makers, Wall Street and broker-dealers have been laying off thousands of sales reps – “financial advisors”, “wealth managers” and stock brokers – as they try to cut costs and alter their business models to prepare for some level of fiduciary accountability.

The Issue

At issue is whether drug reps, and FAs by extension, are exempt from overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA overtime compensation requirement does not apply to employees who work as outside salespeople, but the law does require employers to pay overtime for hours worked beyond 40 hours a week, unless a FLSA exemption applies.

Link: http://www.pharmalot.com/2012/02/white-house-sides-with-sales-reps-on-overtime/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Pharmalot+%28Pharmalot%29

My Issue

And so, does this mean that most “financial advisors” are really stock-brokers and product pushers after all? At least in medicine, we doctors know what a pharmaceutical rep is – and we understand his/ her roll is to push pharma products, DME and drug sales.

Shouldn’t a salesman – be a salesman – and an “advisor” – be an RIA or RIA rep? I don’t often agree with the White House, but I do on this one.

FAs can’t be independent client advocates – and employees – at the same time

Now, isn’t it time for the public to know that the vast majority of FAs are just salesmen [still SBs], too? Just selling retail financial products to doctors and others; not drugs. After all, FAs can’t be independent client advocates – and employees – at the same time.  And, it appears with this potential filing and ruling; that they truly wish to be the later. Now FAs, admit it!

Assessment

Why do you think FAs are licensed as “registered representatives”? Rarely; a fiduciary among them!

Conclusion

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.

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A Recent E-mail that I Received

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA, CMP™

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

[Editor-in-Chief]

As a former certified financial planner for almost 15 years, I was surprised to recently receive the following unedited e-mail correspondence.

Dear Marcinko,

If you are clever, have a way with people, or are a born salesperson, then becoming financial advisor could be your ticket to paradise.

Maybe not exactly paradise, but you could definitely have a ticket to a rewarding career. If you’re thinking about starting out as a new financial advisor – you may already be half the way there.

Why?

Because it’s an occupation where your life challenges will give you the understanding and empathy needed to work with your clients. Have you ever been in the position where you had to figure out a budget for your children’s education? Or manage an over extended credit card? These life situations will aid an individual on the path to become a financial consultant.

Requirements to Be a Financial Advisor

Even though a formal education is not a necessity to become financial adviser, it helps if you’ve taken certain courses.

What degree do you need to become a financial advisor? A bachelor’s degree in Finance, Economics, Accounting, Commerce, Business or Marketing would be a good start. A degree won’t assure you of a startling career but it may help get your foot in the door.

Rumor has it that a degree in psychology is also an asset as financial advising is as much about counseling as it is about advising. There are a plethora of people with all sorts of emotional entanglements around their financial lives.

Licenses

So, what licenses do you need to be a financial advisor? Some companies will assist a newbie in the financial advisory business and place them into a special program that will help them to obtain the required regulatory licenses such as a Series 66, this license permits them to vend annuities and mutual funds. It’s also possible to manage your own training. You can take part-time courses in order to qualify for the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) exam.

There are roughly over 286 universities and colleges that will assist you in preparing for the CFP exam. How long does it take to become a financial advisor? In order to qualify for the exam you will also need three years full-time working experience with a financial planning establishment.

Statistics state that over 40% regularly fail this all important exam. Its worth the time and effort as with this certification you are deemed as a certified financial planner and demand a higher salary.

Assessment

Hot tip: Stay away from insurance companies for financial employment. They’ll insist that you sign everyone including the dog and your grandmother. Then get rid of you if you don’t procure sufficient business. Banks are better they will bring in the clients for you.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Are financial advisors true professionals; or a truely professional sales force?

Please 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. Are financial advisors true professionals, or a professional sales force?

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How Investors View Financial Advisors?

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A Public Opinion Survey

Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Boston-based Dalbar company is a surveyor of financial information for the mutual fund industry. About a decade ago Dalbar released a nine-part survey on personal financial advice to measure the level of demand for advice that existed back then and to ascertain consumer preferences, expectations, beliefs, and sources for personal financial advice.

Now, please allow me to suggest that all FA colleagues use the results to evaluate your current practices and planed initiatives to determine how current thinking must change to meet today’s and tomorrow’s needs. And so, we now share some of the results of this survey.

Customer Expectations of Personal Financial Advisors

• Investors and prospective investors expect their personal financial advisors to educate them about investments and to minimize the taxes they pay.

• Unrealistic expectations present a major problem to personal financial advisors. The expectations for advisors to produce the highest returns, prevent investing mistakes, and avoid losses set the stage for disappointment in the future, thus undermining the public trust of advisors.

• Advertising, training, compensation, and industry practice is out of step with customer expectations. This survey indicates that emphasis in all these areas should be directed to vastly simplify education, increase use of tax saving strategies, and help investors to define financial goals.

Demand for Personal Financial Advisors

• Of the consumers surveyed, 89% report the need for a personal financial advisor for assets of $100,000 or more. This contradicts the notion that a growing number of people prefer to do-it-themselves. This finding presents the advisor with an opportunity: The demand for advice is higher than the market would suggest.

• The demand for advice, as measured by the Advice Demand Index (ADI) is highest among those who prefer to pay for advice through commissions. The ADI is highest for commission-payers at 93%, followed by those who prefer to pay a percentage of their assets (92.5%). Flat-fee payers have the lowest demand for advice, at just 88.7%.

Importance of Personal Financial Advice Functions

• Consumers unanimously agree that the ability of their advisor to provide clear explanations of investment alternatives, to be available when needed, and to keep them informed of their investment status are the most important financial advice functions.

• Consumers revealed that the delivery of a comprehensive written financial plan is the least important function that their advisor performs.

Assessment

This report was not physician specific so one wonders how applicable it is to medical providers; especially the “no-desire” for a financial plan part?

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Are the results still valid today; or after the 2008-09 “flash crash”? 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.

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Are Financial Services “Professional” Certifications Important? [A Poll]

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Often of Murky Respect – Usually Confusing to Clients

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA, CMP™

http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

[Editor-in-Chief]

There are more than 100 “certifications” which represent the often nebulous field of “financial advisory, or planning credentials” that presently exist in the market place today.

Some of these “professional” designations are awarded to individuals in the financial planning or financial “advisory” space after [some] diligent study, and [often not so] arduous testing; others not so.

And so, are such “credentials” more important to you, or your clients; pleas opine.

More:

Disclaimer: I am a reformed Certified Financial Planner®, Series 7 [stock-broker], 63 and 65 license holder, and RIA representative who also held all applicable insurance and security licenses.

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On American Health Care and Financial Services Competitiveness

A MEMORIAL DAY OPINION – EDITORIAL

[Innovation – Not Nationalization – Can Again Lead]

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; FACFAS, MBA, CPHQ, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

By Hope Rachel Hetico; RN, MHA, CPHQ, CMP™

[Managing Editor]

Ann Miller; RN, MHA

[Executive-Director]

American Flag

On this 2010 Memorial Day weekend, please allow us to directly reflect for a moment on the decline of the healthcare, banking and financial services industry in America. And; then somewhat indirectly comment on the hopeful emergence of the web 2.0 phenomena of which we all are a part. The competitive applicability to these sectors should be appreciated by the insightful ME-P reader.

Collapse of Command and Control Monopolies and Oligarchies   

Old monopolies everywhere are crumbling because of tougher new competitors and the transparency wrought by electronic connectedness. For example, our old newspaper has to compete with the internet, your electric utility company battles low-cost local start-ups, telephone companies must begin installing fiber optic lines to fend off cable companies; and RIAs and fiduciary focused financial advisors [FAs] will supplant BDs and stock brokers in the financial services sector.

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

cmp-logo

The airline industry collapsed a few years ago, the banking industry has just collapsed, and the auto industry is recovering as we pen this post. [We have a particular affinity for the auto sector however, as the son of a UAW member and step-daughter of Michiganders]. Regardless, the rush to more intense competition cannot be stopped. As a doctor, FA or other business competitor; you either keep pace or get crushed by quasi-oligarchic organizations like the American Medical Association [AMA], American Podiatric Medical Association [FPMA], American Dental Association [ADA], American Osteopathic Medical Association AOMA], Financial Planning Association [FPA], Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards [CFP BoS], College for Financial Planning [CFP] or the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors [NAPFA], etc. What have they, and Wall Street, done for you … lately? Scandal, taint, doubt, lost-credibility, a business-as-usual ennui, lethargy and ruin! Enter www.Sermo.com

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/04/19/calling-for-cfp%c2%ae-fiduciary-status-real-education-and-higher-duty/#comment-4136

Health Insurance Companies

In the last-generation of health insurance companies and related fraternal medical organizations, patients exercised great control over physician selection, had quicker access to specialists and encountered fewer restrictions on care. The reverse was true with financial services. But, because of advancing technology, aging demographics, intense R&D, global manufacturing, and escalating domestic HR costs – competitive market forces against traditional and structured staff model managed care companies – many industry analysts [like us] predicted growth would decline [Yes, greed was also involved as healthcare was presumed a recession-proof sector; and didn’t we all own behemoth big-pharma and HMO stocks in our 401-K, and 403-B plans]? But now, many former stock-brokers and FAs are going rogue; er – independent!

“Although inefficiencies in any business often open up in the short term, and can be greatly exploited by creative and visionary entrepreneurs – as in most business structures – market forces will prevail in the long run”.

Leo F. Mullin, MBA

[Former CEO – Delta Airlines]Shadows

Next-Gen with “Fly”

Fortunately, a new generation of enlightened physician and FA entrepreneurs is coming “out-of-the-shadows” as new-wave web 2.0 corporations and RIAs are becoming more flexible, competitive and market responsive. Simultaneously, monolithic and collectivist political ideas keep trying to regulate the medical and financial services workplace with rules, regulations and contracts to control entire populations. Yet, in the new healthcare economy, this new generation of doctors and FAs with “fly,” is headed toward more competition; not less – with more collaboration with patients and clients – regaining self autonomy.

Physician and FA Advocates

Meanwhile, as medical professionals, FAs and patient advocates, we must all choose between staying flexible to ride out tough times – or – adopting a hard, brittle line that will crack under the pressure of competition. We know where we stand at the ME-P, do you?

Flexibility and Virtual Reality

In recent years, many large corporations and top-down business models were not market responsive and change was not inherent in their DNA. These traditional organizations represented a rigid or “used-to-be” mentality, not a flexible or “wanna-be” mindset; according to business columnist Alan Webber. Some financial advisory corporations, and today’s emerging health 2.0 initiatives, may possess the market nimbleness that cannot be recreated in a controlled or collectivist [nationalistic] environment. And so, going forward, it is not difficult to imagine the following new rules for the new financial and virtual medical ecosystem.

[A] Rule No. 1

Forget about “SEC suitability and FINRA rules”, large office suites, surgery centers, fancy equipment, larger hospitals and the bricks and mortar that comprised traditional medical practices or financial product delivery systems. One doctor or niche focused FA with a great idea, good bedside manners or competitive advantage, can outfox a slew of public servants, the AMA, SEC, ADA or FINRA “faux copy-cat examiners”, while still serving the public – and patients – and making money. It’s now a unit-of-one economy where “Me Inc.”, is the standard. Physicians and FAs must maneuver for advantages that boost their standing and credibility among patients, peers, payers, customers and clients. Examples include patient satisfaction surveys; outcomes research analysis, evidence-based-medicine, physician economics credentialing and true integrated fiduciary-focused financial planning.

However, we should also realize the power of networking, vertical integration and the establishment of virtual RIAs or medical practices, which come together to treat a patient, or help a client, and then disband when a successful outcome is achieved. Job security is earned with more successful outcomes; not necessarily a degree, automatic AUMs, certifications or onsite presence. In fact, some competition experts, like Shirley Svorny PhD, a professor of economics and chair of the Department of Economics at California State University, wonder if a medical degree is a barrier – rather than enabler – of affordable healthcare.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/medical-licensing-obstacle-to-affordable-quality-care

Others even presume the establishment of virtual medical schools and hospitals, where students and doctors learn and practice their art on cyber-entities that look and feel like real patients, but are generated electronically through the wonders of virtual reality units. The same can be said for the financial services industry, although much farther down-line given its current slow rate of real education and quasi-professional acceptance.

[B] Rule No. 2

Challenge conventional wisdom, think outside the traditional box, recapture your dreams and ambitions, disregard conventional gurus and work harder than you have ever worked before. Remember the old saying, “if everyone is thinking alike, then nobody is thinking”. Do collective-nistas and nationalized healthcare advocates react rationally; or irrationally? [THINK: Wall Street, medical unions]

[C] Rule No 3

Differentiate yourself among your healthcare and financial advisory peers. Do or learn something new and unknown by your competitors. Market your accomplishments and let the world know. Be a non-conformist. Conformity is an operational standard and a straitjacket on creativity. Doctors and FAs should create and innovate, not blindly follow organization or political “union” leaders [shop stewards, BDs, etc] into oblivion.

[D] Rule No 4

Realize that the present situation is not necessarily the future. Attempt to see the future and discern your place in it. Master the art of the quick change with fast but informed decision making. Do what you love, disregard what you don’t, and let the fates have their way with you. Then, decide for yourself if you are of this ilk – and adhere to any of the above rules? Or, just become an employed [government, BD] doctor or FA shill. Just remember that the political party, or monopoly that can give you a job, can also take it away [THINK: LB, ML, Wachovia, national healthcare, etc].

CP 1

Memorial Day Considerations

Finally, on this Memorial Day weekend, consider that life and career is a journey, and that in this country we have the choice to ponder or pursue any, and all of the above options, and more. We have the ability to think, cogitate and ruminate, as we have done here today. So – please – thank those who have helped turn this idealistic philosophy, into pragmatic daily reality.

For us personally, we thank Bonze Star Medal Winner Captain Cecelia T. Perez, RN. Now – ponder and consider – who do you thank? If no one has impacted you up-close on this Memorial Day weekend and national holiday, please visit our military channel to reflect, comment and opine.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/category/military-medicine

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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

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New Regulations Needed For Financial Planners?

So Says New Coalition

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

The Financial Planning Coalition [FPC] is pushing for a law that would require anyone calling themselves a financial planner to meet certain ethical and educational standards and to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC].

About the FPC

According to its’ website, the Financial Planning Coalition is a collaboration of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board), the Financial Planning Association® (FPA), and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) to advise legislators and regulators on how to best protect consumers by ensuring financial planning services are delivered with fiduciary accountability and transparency. Americans have grown leery of those who work in financial services.

Currently, financial planning (the process of advising individuals and families across a range of personal finance topics in addition to investment advice) is unregulated as a profession, resulting in major gaps in current laws. So, is it really a “profession” many ask – void of any significant barrier to entry?

The Financial Planning Coalition intends to work with Congress to produce legislation that puts the interests of clients first and enables consumers to identify a trusted financial adviser.

To learn more about the Financial Planning Coalition’s purpose and mission, click here to read, or download the Statement of Understanding [PDF].

SEC Wrong Oversight Agency?

According to this report in Financial Advisor magazine, an advertiser-driven trade journal:

the standards would be set by a public oversight board that would be funded by small registration fees paid by the financial planners, said Robert Glovsky, chair of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards during a conference call today. The CFP Board, as well as the Financial Planning Association and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors makes up the coalition.

Exemptions

However, brokers and insurance agents would not be forced to register as financial planners, but those who held themselves out as financial planners would have to meet the required minimum competency and ethics standards or stop using the financial planner title.

Assessment

And so, as we have noted, written, preached and warned for more than a decade – anyone can call themselves a financial planner, or financial advisor; so beware medical colleagues.

More: http://www.fa-mag.com/fa-news/5314-new-regs-needed-for-financial-planners-coalition-says.html

NOTE: The fiduciary definitional standard conundrum was not even addressed in the article or by the committee, as far as I know. Moreover, note that SEC oversight was in place before, during and now after the Bernie Madoff scandal – so enough said about competency! www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. What do you think FAs, and CFPs®? Should all become an RIA or ERISA styled fiduciary? Or, will this be another CFP® lite fiasco?

Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Disclaimer: I am a former certified financial planner and CEO of the online www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com program for fiduciary advisors working in the healthcare space.

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BEWARE: Top Ten Mistakes Financial Advisors Make

Understanding the “Cobbler’s Children are Barefoot” – Syndrome

Staff Reporters

Here is an article by Philip Palaveev recently published in a financial services trade industry magazine.

“Before helping others, put your own oxygen mask first.”

That’s what they say on airplanes when instructing passengers on what to do in an emergency. It makes a lot of sense: If you can’t breathe, you can’t help others.

Personal Issues

Unfortunately, an alarming number of financial advisors suffer from personal financial “issues” that can interfere with their ability to help their clients. Personal financial problems can indeed cloud advisors’ judgment and can prevent FAs from making much needed investments in the practice.

http://registeredrep.com/advisorland/marketing_selling/top_ten_financial_mistakes_financial_advisors_1124/index.html

Assessment

According to ME-P Publisher-in-Chief Dr. David E. Marcinko, MBA, a former certified financial planner and financial advisor himself;

“Far too many so-called “Financial Advisors” have no formal business management education and precious little real financial training from sources other than their Broker-Dealers or wire-houses; so this report comes as no surprise. The vast majority of stock-brokers are product sales men and women, period.  So – always beware – dear medical colleagues and all readers.”

Conclusion

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And so, 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, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

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VOTE: Poll on Rule 206(4) of the IAA of 1940?

 Please Vote

 

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About Fi360.com

Education for Financial Fiduciaries

Staff Reportersnyse1

According to the firm and website, www.Fi360.com offers a full circle approach to investment fiduciary education, practice management and support that has established it as the go-to source for investment fiduciary insights.

 

The Term “Fiduciary” Defined?

And, Fi360 defines an investment “Fiduciary” as:

“Someone who is managing the assets of another person and stands in a special relationship of trust, confidence, and/or legal responsibility”

Related definitional info: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Practitioner Based

With substantiated best-practices as a foundation, the firm offers training, tools and resources that are essential for fiduciaries and those who provide services to fiduciaries to effectively and successfully manage their roles and responsibilities. Fi360 say it is committed to assisting those who rely on their education programs, Web-based analytical software and resources to achieve success.

Training

Fi360 offers both AIF® and AIFA® training curriculums. The AIF® curriculum instructs investment fiduciaries on how to fulfill their duties to a defined standard of care. The AIFA® curriculum instructs participants on how to assess the conformance of investment fiduciaries to a Global Fiduciary Standard of Excellence [GFSE] using an ISO-like assessment process. These training curriculums are available in both classroom and Web-based settings; customized program are also available. Participants who successfully complete the programs, submit dues, agree to a code of ethics and meet other prerequisites may earn the AIF® or AIFA® designations, respectively.

Goals and Objectives

The goal of Fi360 is to help investment fiduciaries manage their responsibilities. But, according to Bennet Aiken AIF®, Fi360 Communications Coordinator, it is important to realize that AIF® / AIFA® designees are not required to be fiduciaries. While these designations are symbolic of training, knowledge and ongoing fiduciary development, they do not mean certification holders will always be acting as a fiduciary.

Assessment

Publications, blogs, articles, national conferences, assessments and more material for the collective and ongoing support of the fiduciary community are available; many for free and/or for the general public.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. But, why would a healthcare institution, medical practice, clinic or individual physician-investor hire anyone who will not act as a fiduciary and put their interests first; especially an AIF®/AIFA certification holder?

Note: Beginning today, and for the entire month of March 2009, we will be posting an exclusive interview with Bennett Aikin AIF®, the Communications Coordinator for fi360.com. Our topic will be on the rules, regulations and very definition of the modern financial fiduciary. Perhaps he can explain it all? Don’t miss it!

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

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest E-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

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Protecting Your Pension

A Book Report for “Dummies”

Staff Reportersnyse

According to one review, this aptly-titled book Protecting Your Pension for Dummies [Wiley-July 2007, 978-0-470-10213] has proven to be prophetic in its early warnings against money-hungry financial advisors [FAs].

Watch the “Advisors”

The text, written by pension litigators Robert D. Gary and Jori Bloom Naegele, cautioned about hidden fees for financial advisors, lack of benchmarks for financial performance, inappropriate and risky investments, and heavily weighted distribution of plan investments in shaky company stock; etc. In other words, the traditional industry “bar of suitability”, is both ethically and legally low.

Assessment

For example, did you know that the financial services [read “sales”] industry has no definition for the term “financial advisor?”  According to one source, it can be a “butcher, baker or candle-stick maker.” Of course, there are many fine financial services salesmen and consultants “out-there”. But, finding one may be difficult. And, does it not seem that an increasingly number of pundits, like the authors of this book, and others, suggest their numbers are fewer and farther between than the industry itself suggests?

Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Are medical professionals, and the lay public, finally realizing that far too many of these FAs [read stock-brokers] are not fiduciaries working on your behalf; do not have to disclose conflicts of interest, and do not put client interests first?

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

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest E-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

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