I am happy to make this my first post on this blog. The problem(s) with the financial advice profession is a truly important topic, but it is difficult to explain in a way that keeps people's interest. That's where John Oliver comes in. He has taken a topic that is important, but rather boring to most people, and makes it interesting enough to sit through. I don't always agree with John Oliver, but I think he knocks this one out of the park. I want as many people to see this as possible. There is some profanity and a vulgar reference or two, so don't watch it when the kids are around!
Some items I want to highlight:
Around time 3:40 when he points out that you can call yourself by a variety of job titles such as 'financial adviser' or 'wealth manager' without having any credentials whatsoever. This is how people pushing the sale of high-commission financial products can get away with calling themselves 'adviser'.
Around time 4:10 where he points out that an adviser who works on commission may be trying to sell you a financial product because it will make money for the adviser, not for you.
Around time 5:50 where he explains that a fiduciary adviser puts the clients interests before his or her own personal interests, but most advisers are not fiduciary advisers.
Around time 8:56 when he points out that active portfolio management will more often than not produce inferior investment returns.
Around time 16:20 when he points out that "it doesn't have to be that complicated". (The 5 simple rules at the end are quite a good place to start!)
Pay attention around time 16:31 when he points out the new Department of Labor rule requiring all advisers handling retirement accounts to act as a fiduciary. I just want to add here that I act as a fiduciary for ALL accounts, not just retirement accounts, and I don't need a Department of Labor rule telling me how to do that.
This video really hits home for me. The things wrong with the financial advice industry that John Oliver points out are not new. I dicovered them 25 years ago when I was looking for an adviser. They are the reason I have spent the past 3 years getting educated, qualified, certified, and registered to open PIM Financial Partners. I've been told I can't build a successful practice providing fiduciary financial advice at a price the middle market can afford.
I respectfully disagree.