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Financial Firms Are Not All the Same

Posted by Shanna Tingom, AAMS® on Apr 28, 2015 3:24:35 PM

When I chose to enter the financial field, I did it to empower business owners, women and families. Women like me who had been told they couldn’t learn about money or investing, that their husbands would take care of finances. Business owners who need advice on succession planning and planning for retirement. And families who understand the importance of a financial plan, now, and in the future.

While the internet provides a vast amount of information about investing, it doesn’t provide in-person meetings and customized plans that you can get while working with a professional, but not all firms are the same.

Types of Firms

If you’re thinking about investing for retirement, saving for college, or rolling a retirement account from a previous employer into your own account, there are three types firms to consider:

  1. Banks – Banks are not traditional investment firms. They are in business to offer, and specialize in banking products, loans, mortgages, etc; and they often cannot deliver the same level of customer service or knowledge as other types of firms. This also means that banks only offer limited investment options, since they are only offering investments for the purpose of being a 'one stop shop' to their customers. And although you may think that if you purchase stocks and bonds from a bank, that they will be FDIC insured, that is not the case. No investments are FDIC insured. These products all fall under the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
  2. Investment Firms – Focused on investing, these firms offer an array of investment options and are highly regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). While they are able to provide specialized investment knowledge, they are often limited in what products they can offer to their clients, because their companies have preferred products that they look to make quotas on, or want to see sold.
  3. Independent Advisors – While independent advisors are small businesses, compared to the big banks and wirehouses. They have an oversight company where investments are placed through, and they are regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Independent advisors are business owners, and as such, they have much more flexibility in how they can market and manage their business. They also have a much broader array of products they can offer their clients. This allows for more freedom and choose in products to best meet the customer's needs; as well as a more personal stake in helping clients meet their financial goals, because their clients are also members of their community.

I personally chose to be an independent advisor because it offers me flexibility, combined with the technology to find the best investments for my clients.  Regulated by FINRA, the governing body for financial advisors, I offer securities through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC.

What does that mean for the community? It means connecting in the following ways:

  • Building relationships with referral partners who offer legal, accounting, insurance, and personal and business budget coaching, just to name a few.
  • Hosting educational community events on topics like saving for college, retirement funding, financial & emotional implications of divorce, and succession planning for business owners.
  • Flexibility to find the best products and investments that help my clients meet their financial goals, and the technology to smoothly execute transactions.
  • Connecting with the community on social media.

If you’re seeking more information about investing for your financial future, please call me at 480-397-1184. I look forward to talking to you.