How a Registered Investment Advisor Differs From a Stockbroker and Why Palm Beach Residents Need To Know

March 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

It’s tough to find anyone using the title “stockbroker” anymore in Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter or anywhere else.  Traditional brokers advertise as financial advisors or any number of other titles that seem to promise more than simply trading.

Yet most individuals who work for traditional “name brand” brokerage firms are stockbrokers, meaning they sell investment products for their company and receive payment in the form of commissions, usually a percentage of the sale.  It’s not hard to see that these individuals have a conflict: Providing you with investments that best match your needs may not yield the highest commissions.  Even the most well meaning Palm Beach area broker can convince himself or herself that the company’s products are best for you, after all.

Some brokers give the appearance they are managing money for fees by hiring third-party money managers, but there is still a conflict: The broker may resist moving money out of the market and into cash in times of financial market stress because the broker doesn’t get paid as much if the client’s money is placed in money market funds rather than with the money manager.

Successful individuals who have a high net worth sometimes retain brokers year after year simply because they started out with the brokerage firm.  How many residents of area country clubs such as PGA National, BallenIsles, Ibis, Mirasol, Bear’s Club, Old Palm, Old Marsh and Frenchman’s Creek continue this outdated way of investing?

There is a better way: Work with a fiduciary such as Curtis Lyman, of The Lyman Group at HighTower Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).  RIAs are advisory firms that register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and state authorities and take on a fiduciary duty, meaning they are obligated to act in the client’s best interest at all times.

The Lyman Group does not take a commission on any products or services.  As an RIA, The Lyman Group operates on a fee only basis, meaning we earn a straight fee as a percentage of assets under management.  As such, we have an absolute objective to increase your account’s market value.  It places us on the “same side of the table” as you.

As someone who has reached a high level of success, you owe it to yourself to work with a comprehensive wealth management firm.  The Lyman Group provides holistic financial services driven by your needs and goals.  Unlike brokers, who are concerned primarily with your investments and the commissions they may drive, we manage your entire financial picture, from taxes to estate planning.  That brings advantages of coordination and efficiency that ultimately help improve your retirement bottom line.

At The Lyman Group, we focus on helping you achieve what we call your Life Vision.  To be sure, a key component is the generation of predictable and consistent investment returns over time.  The difference, though, is that a Registered Investment Advisor firm such as HighTower, The Lyman Group will handle your investments within the larger context of your goals.  It’s a difference that can have a huge impact on your financial future.

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