Advice + Products = Conflicts of Interest

Large financial firms increasingly want to create products and give advice. It's probably not surprising that the advice they give often leans in the direction of the products they make. We see this commonly, both with individual investors and 401k plans.

A financial firm trying to maintain high margins on the backs of their clients is under increased pressure to find ways to create "margin opportunity" or "margin expansion." (I particularly love "margin opportunity" as a term btw.) One technique is to create a stack of fees: if you become the advisor, and you as the advisor move clients into funds you also make, your internal referral protects the revenue from going elsewhere, and helps the firm overall.

Evidence of this approach appears in firm-owned private real estate funds, private equity vehicles, private Unit Investment Trusts, proprietary mutual funds, or firms just moving clients into their own funds without a careful review of the alternatives. Many of these options, unfortunately for the client, are not easily liquidated (which implicitly reduces their value).

But it's not objective advice, and the business of advice must be objective to be successful. The loyalty, both ethically and structurally within the firm, must only be attached to the client. Internal objectives should not dilute that loyalty.

One Day In July is not in the product business. You won't see our name on the funds in your account. We line up vendors to compete for our clients' capital. Vanguard, Blackrock, Schwab and others make their case via written documents. We do not allow payments, we do not allow bestowed trips or entertainment, and we don't love meetings. Just written arguments.

The effect of this reverberates beyond fees: impartial product selection allows us to focus on only the investments that we believe are optimal for a client's portfolio.

Dan Cunningham

Return to Articles
How We Are Different
Low-fee index funds. Transparent & fiduciary financial advisors.
Local Financial Advisor
We are in your community. We are local.
Investment Management
We tailor to each client. Index funds at the core.
Index Funds
Broad market exposure, low expense.
Dan's Corner
Meaningful musings from our founder.
Fiduciary
Your best interests are our priority.
Low Fees
Our fees are among the lowest in the nation.
Financial Planner
Financial advisor optimizes your financial picture.
U.S. Treasury Bonds
Use Treasury Bonds to reduce risk.
Book Recommendations
Here are some of our favorites
Who We Serve
We work with clients nationwide from all financial backgrounds.
When Should I Invest?
Life transitions = important financial decisions.
Retirement: 401k and More
Retiring? Plan the future you want.
IRA Rollovers
401k Rollovers. IRA Rollovers
Active vs. Passive Investing
We believe there is a winner in this debate.
The Investment Process
How we work: low-cost index funds, personalized attention.
Simplicity
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Investing: What to Focus On
Low-fee index funds. fee-only advisor.
Switching Financial Advisors
Can be uncomfortable, but an important step.
Advisor Recruiting
We attract top-tier talent. Not your usual firm.
Basic Investing
Let's start with Investing 101.
Understanding Your Financial Statement
Let's break it down to basics.
Taxes on Investments
What causes taxes within your investments?
Behavioral Finance
Nudge vs. Sludge.
Advanced Investing
Let's geek out on stats and figures.
How Financial Firms Bill
Fee-based vs. fee-only, and lots more.
Who Supports Indexing?
Bogle, Swensen, Buffett, and others.
Transparency
One click to see our fees.
Mutual Funds vs ETFs
Clarifying the difference.
Does Stock Picking Work?
The resaerch says no.
Countering Arguments Against Index Funds
What happens in a down market?
Annuities
Lots of fees, little clarity.
How Do Mutual Funds Work?
Invest in the basket.
How to Relieve Financial Stress
New client? anxiety is normal.
Financial Terms Glossary
Common investment terms you should know.
Firm Comparison
One Day In July vs the competition.
Retired Investing
Retiring? Let us help.
Young Investors
Plant a seed, watch it grow.
High Net Worth Investors
Preserve and grow your wealth.
Investing an Inheritance
Prioritizing and planning for the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Good questions, real answers.
Female Investors
Your voice needs to be heard. We are listening.
For the Business Owner
Choosing what's best for your business.
Environmental Investing
Carbon intensity, fossil fuels.

Locations

Vermont

Connecticut

United States

Services

Individuals

401k Plans

Institutions

Environmental

Account Types

Differentiators

Cash Flows

Low Fees

Fiduciary

Dedicated Advisor

Materials

Advisors: Join Us

Careers

Articles on Investing

About the Secure Act

Quarterly Booklets

Resources

Vermont Investment Management

Vermont Retirement Planning

Vermont Wealth Management

Vermont Financial Advisors

Investment Tools

Shelburne, VT Financial Advisor

Frank Koster | Josh Kruk | Keith McCarthy

5247 Shelburne Rd, Suite #101

Shelburne, VT 05482

(802) 777-9768

Stowe, VT Finanical Advisor

Available for meetings in Stowe.

Peter Egolf

(802) 999-2321

Burlington, VT Financial Advisor

Hans Smith | Katie Muttitt

Nancy Westbrook | Peter Egolf

77 College Street #3A

Burlington, VT 05401

(802) 503-8280

Darien, CT Financial Advisor

Available for meetings in Darien.

Keith McCarthy

(203) 554-9466


v 1.7.16 | © One Day In July LLC. All Rights Reserved.