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Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Right Financial Information: How your Advisor Gets Paid

By Paul J. Easton

Many people are so concerned about how to assess if they are getting the right financial information for themselves. Here is a tip you should probably be interested in.

In the first place, never ignore the security a reputable firm can provide. But you might be surprised that the quality of a financial advisor's advice can be greatly affected by the way they are paid.

To clear things, it really affects a financial professional how much you pay him or her. Quality advice nowadays is expensive. But what we found out striking is that the way or method they are paid also affects their objectivity in providing you an unbiased and the best financial information.

The way your financial advisor gets paid is affecting his or her quality of advice. It may seem strange at first but it is true. Here is one way of explaining it further. If your financial advisor is paid on commissions, then they are exposed to certain biases because of the pressures of the sales quota they have to make. In addition, good financial products sales are equivalent to more income.

Because the kind of financial advice they provide is more likely to steer you towards the investment products, there is a certain form of marketing unfairness to the advice. They offer you financial advices as a form of window dressing to their marketing scheme with the main aim of selling their financial products at the back end.

Other ways of compensating your financial advisor have problems as well. For example, in situations where financial advisors are paid a percentage of the total assets managed, advisors make decisions chiefly to keep long-term clients. This usually leads the financial advisor to avoid any risk at the investments at all. This certainly is depriving the client with the best deals with higher returns.

There are other new payment schemes. This includes a new concept called pay for performance. This sounds so good at the first look especially with the bullish markets. When your investments lose money, however, you will realize that the advisor gets only a cut of your profits but don't contribute on your loss. You bear all the losses alone without his accountability. This type of payment may cause your advisor to only invest your money with those instruments with the highest profit but do not regard the risk of loss well into the assessment.

One of the recommended ways of payment is an hourly fee or a monthly retainer. Advisors are paid regularly. This reason makes them work in your best interest in most cases. The only problem is if you are unwilling to pay them a fair amount.

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