The Gift of Discretion
CHOOSING A FINANCIAL ADVISOR
“Everyone is biased.” Those were the words of a mentor of mine shortly after I entered the business of financial advising. I had already been working in the financial industry for several years, but this was the second time my idealistic view of the objective, trusted financial advisor received a healthy dose of reality. The first time was about three years earlier. I had just finished celebrating my rite of passage into the stockbrokerage world—successful completion of the “Series 7” examination allowing one to sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, and various other securities to the public—when I left my entry-level back-office job at a reputable brokerage firm to join a successful team of stockbrokers at another firm as a junior broker.
The celebration continued as I settled into my new office (with walls) and my 100 percent raise. Now I was ready to conquer the financial world. I intended to set up shop as a financial doctor and wait to see wealthy patients line up at my door eagerly awaiting my professional diagnosis and walking away with a prescription of financial wisdom.
I showed up the first day, bright and early, in my token blue pinstriped suit, starched white shirt, and bold power tie. I sauntered into the team leader’s office to await my very first “morning call.” I listened intently and began feverishly taking notes as a man’s voice rang through a small box detailing the economic events and nonevents ...