Show Me The Money: Hidden Cameras Investigate Big Bank Financial Advice

Have you ever wondered if your adviser was acting in your best interest? Do they have the appropriate background and competencies to be providing you guidance?

An interesting CBC Marketplace episode that recently aired on television caught our attention. They took hidden cameras to investigate what type of returns advisers would offer an individual looking to invest $50,000. From the unclear fee descriptions to the unrealistic promised investment returns, the findings were quite striking!

Check out the full episode using the link below.

Preet Banerjee, CBC’s financial expert commentator expressed that, "if you walk into a financial institution, the average person on the street assumes they’re going to have someone who’s going to take care of all their financial issues. But on the other side of the desk, there’s a wide range of people that you could see. Some of them are just order-takers or salespeople and others are true financial planning professionals."

The episode highlights a major issue in the industry; the conflict of interest that clouds the judgement of many advisers. This is common as many of these advisers are in place to earn profit for their employers (the big banks), or get paid by the companies offering the investment products they sell (mutual funds).

The reason we have chosen the fee-only compensation model for our firm is to put forth an objective option. A fee-only compensation model insures that the adviser is working for the person paying them; their client.

Next time an adviser offers you extravagant returns or has trouble being transparent about the fees attached to the investment product being offered, use caution before signing away your hard earned money and make sure they really have your best interest at heart.