In the financial services industry, people call themselves many things. It's hard to tell the good guys from the bad from their titles alone. Most of the terms are generic and mean nothing. It’s a grey area, which means you have to know who you’re working with. Are they working in your best interest?
May or may not know much about actual investing.
May be prone to opening unauthorized accounts.
Wow, so exclusive... right?
UBS, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo Advisors... known for their sales skills, not investment acumen.
A title now bestowed on recent sales-trainee graduates at brokerage firms.
Licensed to sell you stuff you don't need.
Possibly your neighbor who was a physical therapist last week. Surprise!
LPL, AXA, Raymond James... licensed sales people who can have their own office! Biggest sellers of costly annuities and failed REITs.
Old school term.
Master cross-sellers of products and services - a bit fancier than banks.
May or may not also be a pizza delivery guy!
OK. So what should I look for in an advisor?