In recent times it has come to light that several “advisors”, have been caught running Ponzi schemes with their clients money. While those who know me and this firm all know quite well that that is not the case here, many prospective clients may not. The proof I can offer that such fears are completely unwarranted at this firm is that ALL money for our clients is held at long time reputable third party carriers such as Schwab, Lafayette Life, Transamerica etc. They hold it, they insure it, and they report directly to you on it. That said, I think the issue of trust is something that goes deeper than whether or not your money is being stolen, it also has a great deal to do with just how it is being handled and invested. There are a lot more hidden, less notorious violations of trust in our industry that go largely unchecked, and have mostly to do with whether your “advisor” is working on your side of the table toward your interests or on his or her side working towards theirs. The differences are quite easy to spot once one knows what to look for. Does your advisor offer a variety of products with various companies or just one line of products? When you make a suggestion does your advisor dismiss it out of hand or research the idea first? Does your advisor hold your money at a large reputable company such as Schwab Institutional as we do or at his/her own lesser known propriatary company such as Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC? Is your tax advisor up to date on the various retirement plans available to small business owners that can save them up to tens of thousands of dollars each year in taxes and provide for a more secure retirement? If not, why?
As a Registered Independent firm who doesn’t hold your money but rather guides you on investing it, our objectives are simple and pure, your financial well being. If you do not succeed then neither can we. It has always been very important to know who your advisor is. Sadly, people now more than ever are finding out why.
Bradley Ducoat Principal The Ducoat Financial Group September 2009
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