What to Expect
Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate your being here. Here's what to expect from me and this blog.
If you haven't already, I invite you to visit my About Me page for a deeper dive.
My goal is to educate people on topics related to personal finance and money; to simplify what are often very complicated financial topics.
We all have opinions, (whether valid, well researched or not). Often, the “experts” quoted, be they financial advisors, industry “experts” or reporters, are advocating positions that benefit them. You see this, right? It seems we are always being sold something.
I believe that financial news and education should be objective. However, I understand that is very hard to come by. Everyone, including financial advisors, industry experts, and media, has a bias of some sort in their reporting or in the advice they give. I’ll be honest with you. That includes me.
I own and manage my own financial planning business (technically, registered investment advisory), Leamnson Capital Advisory, LLC. When I chose the type of firm I wanted, I decided to not affiliate with a broker-dealer. Let’s pause for a minute and look at that name – broker-dealer. Doesn’t that sound like a firm who sells (deals) stuff? In my years of experience in that part of the industry, that’s what it was. It was all about sales and production for the firm.
So, I became a registered investment advisory firm. My only form of compensation in my business is from fees my clients pay. That can be as a percentage of assets I manage, flat fees for financial plans or monthly retainers. But I get paid for advice. I use a custodian, TD Ameritrade, to hold client investments and execute the buying and selling of securities on their behalf. I receive no compensation from any of these transactions.
My bias, then, is that I believe that the most objective and honest way to give advice is via fees, not commissions on products or trading. How does that impact the recommendations I give? Hopefully, it doesn’t. But if I’m honest, I could.
Addressing conflicts of interest
Let’s say I determine during my planning with a client that the best thing for them is to pay off a mortgage. The source of funds to pay off that mortgage is the investments on which I’m getting paid. That puts me in a conflict.I’ve had this situation come up several times over the years. I've always advised them to pay off the mortgage. However, as you can see, that still involves a conflict.
What’s my point? That conflicts are unavoidable in the advice industry and the financial press. If someone is getting paid and the advice they give impacts how they get paid, there is a conflict, right?
The question is, how do you minimize those conflicts? That’s why I chose this business structure for Leamnson Capital. Since I don’t take commissions, I don’t have the product or trading issue to add to the conflict. I don’t have to choose high commission products or, for that matter, any product to increase my income. That reduces my potential conflicts significantly.
What does that have to do with this blog?
I commit to cover many sides of an issue without bias toward what I believe. The articles I write about various financial topics will, to the extent I’m capable, be in plain English as free from industry speak as possible.
My goal is to give you enough information to make your own decision without the pressure of someone selling you something or pointing you to a product or service that benefits them.
I want to educate and help you make good decisions about your money. As you begin to read these articles, let me know what you think. I’m always available to answer questions. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to my calendar link on this page and set up a short call. And seriously, let me know how I’m doing.