Brokers

Whither the Wirehouse?

    Charles Schwab just conducted a poll of 200 financial advisors, all at full service firms (aka wirehouses).  More than half had at least 10 years under their belts and the median assets under management was $84 mil. The prognosis was not a good one for the name-brand wirehouse firms… From Financial-Planning.com: Less than…

The Retirement Account Death Threat

This one’s interesting.  Normally, you hear about clients threatening their brokers for giving them the wrong advice.  In this case, a man’s advisor tried to talk him out of tapping his IRA early in order to be spared from the early withdrawal penalty.  Was the client pleased with this advice?  Actually, no, he became homicidal….

Ivanka Works The Phones For Charity

I’ll leave you with this image of Ivanka Trump raising money for charity and wish you a good weekend. Sigh, to be the receiver of a black telephone on the BGC Partners brokerage trading floor… Sources: Ivanka Trump (Daily Intel)

You and Us. (*unless things get ugly, then you're on your own)

One of the more curious features of the wealth management business over the last few years was the unfair competitive advantage that some firms had over others because of their innate ability to offer tax-evasion-as-a-service to high net worth investors as a selling point. It’s nice to hear that someone out there in Governmentland actually cares……

Setting the Record Straight Re: Bill Singer

I owe someone a major apology for something I wrote last week which was completely disingenuous to their standing and reputation in our industry. It all started when I read an article in Forbes that I felt was insulting to professionals in the brokerage and advisory industry.  Since I’ve started my career, I’ve seen a…

Experts Predict the Death of the Broker (Yeah, that old chestnut)

“Bill Singer foresees stock brokers not existing after this generation and instead the market will have commission-paid telephone operators who dole out information.” Forbes, August 2009 Another era, another article discussing the Death of the Broker.  My friend/buddy/pal Bill Singer, a maven on all subjects pertaining to the broker/dealer and regulatory world, is quoted in…

Red Flags in the Sky

“He that voluntarily continues in ignorance, is guilty of all the crimes which ignorance produces” – Samuel Johnson If Bernie Madoff was the Harlem Globetrotters of stock fraud (undefeated for decades), then Ross Mandell and his Sky Capital crew are the Washington Generals.  Mandell has been in trouble with regulators and officials on and off…

UBS: "Selling Tax Evasion as a Service"

From Bloomberg: Under threat of prosecution, UBS in February agreed to turn over about 250 names of Americans suspected of tax fraud. We’ve discussed this matter on TRB before, but frankly the longer this thing festers, the more it’s gonna piss me off. UBS has this enormous “Wealth Management” business here in the US and…

Perspective

When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers. Ralph Waldo Emerson Thanks to all for the kind wishes…