A broker acts as the intermediary or middleman between a buyer and a seller and earns a commission from the transaction. There are brokers in just about any kind of business – real estate, mortgage, insurance, bonds, stock market, customs, commodities, foreign exchange, etc. In the stock market, the broker is the link between the investor and the stock exchange. Brokers as a rule have to sit for exams to earn a license in order to solicit business, offer any advice and transact on your behalf.

Independent Financial Planners on Par with Full Service Brokers

The number of mass affluent investors using an independent financial planner is roughly equivalent to the number using a full service broker. A recent survey of 1,498 households with assets between $100,000 and $1,000,000 reveals that 22% use an independent financial planner as their advisor. The number of mass affluent households using full service brokers is also 22%. The number of households using registered investment advisors (RIA) is 6%--a decrease of 4% from the previous survey in...

Investors Making Some Progress with Financial Crisis-Related Arbitration Claims

Barron's reports that U.S. investors have filed more securities arbitration claims in 2009 than in all of 2008. 4,991 claims have been filed thus far in 2009. Mandatory arbitration--which prevents a case from going straight to court--is essentially the sole recourse for investors who feel they have been harmed by a broker or advisor. The arbitration system is run by Finra , which serves as the self-regulation arm of the securities industry. The overall success rate of securities arbitration...

NAPFA Provides Consumers with Quality Control while Maintaining Flexibility for Financial Advisors

NAPFA is the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.

NAPFA membership consists of financial advisors who provide comprehensive...


The Garrett Network's Fee-Only Approach Creates Natural Partnerships Between Clients and Financial Advisors

Sheryl Garrett is the founder of the Garrett Planning Network.

The Garrett Network consists of approximately 300 financial advisors who provide services on a fee-only basis and act as fiduciaries.

Read on to understand how and why the Garrett Network seeks to make objective, competent...

Sheryl Moore on Fixed Indexed Annuities and the SEC Proposed Rule 151A

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed Rule 151A would change the securities status of indexed annuities from fixed insurance products to registered, securities products.

The proposed rule would have a significant impact on their entire industry landscape.  SEC 151A would affect the way in which insurance companies develop...