FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for financial advisors.
The SEC claims that an RIA used client money to pay a settlement (InvestmentNews)
"Investment adviser Jacob Cooper and his firm, Total Wealth Management, face a fresh set of fraud charges after they attempted to use client funds to settle an earlier fraud case with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a new complaint filed Wednesday," reports Mason Braswell.
The SEC is now looking to freeze the firm's assets, to appoint a receiver to oversee the remaining funds, and to assess civil penalties. Meanwhile, Cooper has been writing fantasy novels, including one published last July called "Circle of Reign (The Dying Lands Chronicle Book 1)."
JEREMY GRANTHAM: The Saudis' decision not to cut oil production may be wrong (GMO via Advisor Perspectives)
"Major shocks like this to the status quo are just plain dangerous, and Saudi Arabia, which loves stability much more than most, may come to regret not having sucked up the pain of selling less for a few years," argues Jeremy Grantham. "Cutting back up to half the Saudi oil would have certainly cleared the market for several years and very probably until U.S. fracking supplies peak. Even at its worst for the Saudis, in four or five years isn’t selling half the oil at twice the price a real bargain?"
"If I were on the Saudi long-term planning committee that would definitely have been my vote anyway, especially with the recent passing of King Abdullah, whose successor might not be as careful, generally successful, or as lucky as his predecessor," he adds.
A trio of advisors just bailed on UBS and joined Baird (The Wall Street Journal)
A father-son team from UBS, Patrick and Nathan Cook, who managed $170 million in client assets and one other advisor, David Himebaugh, from Wells Fargo have abandoned ship and joined Baird Private Wealth Management, a unit of Robert W. Baird & Co.
"A Baird spokesman declined to disclose Mr. Himebaugh’s assets under management while at Wells Fargo. Similarly, the spokesman didn’t say how much each of the advisers generated in fees and commissions," reports Michael Wursthorn.
Raymond James and HighTower are killing it (Financial Planning)
"As Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have struggled to reclaim the storied pasts, two firms, Raymond James and HighTower have made advisor-friendly cultures a crucial part of their success in both retaining their advisors and recruiting new ones," writes Danny Sarch.
Sarch argues that Raymond James and HighTower have embraced ownership, have empowering leadership who work to attract and retain the right people, have cultures were advisors feel fiduciary responsibility, and have made innovations in hiring and compensation.
Lee Munson: "I'm not giving up the money. What I will do is give up being an ass" (WealthManagement.com)
Lee Munson made a name for himself after he was profiled in the New York Observer in 2001. Several months later, he moved out to New Mexico, decried the commission model, joined NAPFA, and opened his own RIA. And now he says that NAPFA is a "cult" and that it's okay to make money.
"I was a NAPFA cult member — if it wasn't fee-only, it was evil... The fee-only thing is a real disservice," Munson said, comparing it to Alcoholics Anonymous. "I have problem, and I can't control myself. So I have to join this cult called NAPFA, and I have to tell everybody 'I'm not allowed to drive because I'll get drunk and crash.'"
"I like to make money. But I changed to an RIA. Why? Because as I got older and started a family and started to think about who I was as a person, I thought, ‘You know, I’m not giving up the money. What I will do is give up being an ass,’” he said.
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