The Three Ring Circus Blows Trust And Integrity

Harley Hunter
Unfortunately, the recent bear market rally has blinded the public and the financial planning community in general similar to the quick comeback of the 1987 market crash. Yet the October and November 2008 crash was only the tip of the iceberg as the worse is still to come. The entitlement mentality, greed, arrogance and outrageous bonuses of the Wall Street elite have seen that they make out royally and financial planners and the public are left to pick up the pieces in the financial meltdown the Elites and their regulatory and political buddies have created. What follows may anger some and it should but it will help countless others if they're willing to step outside and look in to gain a better perspective as to where this rat race is going.

I assume you're either pursuing a financial planning, financial consulting or advisory career right now, or that you have pursued one in the past. If you're in neither group but, as an entrepreneur, you really want to help people financially, then consider yourself extremely fortunate, as this article may save you years of blood, sweat, tears, and money. So what's going on? Well, in a nutshell, this time the elites of Wall Street have gone way too far and completely destroyed the two elements vital to your ability to build your business, your book, your clientele - trust and integrity!

Answer these questions. Has your job shifted unfavorably to long hours of holding clients' hands all for less pay? Are you watching expenses like a hawk? Have your expenses increased? Are you having fun? Are you making more money? What about your life long residual income you'd grown accustomed to from your assets under management? How many clients have you lost? Are you able to still attract qualified clients as easily as you did in the past? Are you seeing your life pass before your eyes? Do you need help? What's on the horizon for your business that will either help or hurt you?

If you answered those questions in a positive way, you are either a master salesman or you have the best possible marketing system or you don't have any clients that are suffering as a result of your investment recommendations. Therefore, you should be making at least one million dollars per year. For those who answered on the negative side, you are not alone and have plenty of company. Either way, right now and for the foreseeable future, a career in the financial service industry is a tough place to be.

The public has finally wised up to the inherent problems that have always plagued the industry, namely the greed, the conflicts of interest, the self-dealing and the so-called financial plan designed to steer them to products where the investment and financial planning firm makes the most money. Only this time, the problems were so grossly and blatantly exposed in broad daylight for the whole world to see and experience as their investment and retirement accounts lost 30%-60% of their value. Don't let the recent bear market rally fool that the worse is over. Literally, the public was and is deceived by the Wall Street elites' incredible arrogance and greed, and the lack of scrutiny and oversight by the regulators and power hungry politicians. Similarly, the entire financial and investment planning community was also deceived and left holding the bag to resurrect their business under a situation that is only going to get worse.

Both you and the public need to find a better way or both of you will continue to be deceived by the incestuous love affair between the Wall Street elites, Washington regulators and power hungry politicians. John Q Public knows, and hopefully, you know these super rich and well connected people play by a whole different set of rules that does not include you or the public and they get away with it. So far, not one of these amoral and irresponsible people has gone to jail where they belong. Consider just a few examples as to why the public is fearful, suspicious and can't trust the industry and you shouldn't either!

All the credit swap insurance sold by AIG did not have one dime of reserves backing it up. A total fraud for nearly 10 years and yet they kept their multimillion dollar bonuses and received $150B more of taxpayer funds and now they want more. Where were the regulators?

Financial wizards at CitiCorp, Bank of America, Lehman Bros., Merrill Lynch, and Fannie Mae took enormous risk and bundled bad mortgages - all so they could make millions and leave behind imploding corporations and they have the gall to pay outrageous bonuses from the taxpayers' money.

CitiCorp and Bank of America already have received $90B in bailout funds (and now are begging for more) and just before Merrill Lynch merged with Bank of America, their 4 top executives got $121M.

Taxpayers spend $914M per year funding the SEC so investors can sleep at night and instead we have an organization that goes after the Martha Stewarts of the world for $26,000 and puts hundreds of your financial advisor peers out of work with trumped up charges just to show their power.

Yet, in spite of many reports concerning the Madoff $50 billion scandal over a ten to fifteen year period, the SEC did nothing until it was to late. WHY? As ex-chairman of NASDAQ, Madoff was a well-connected Wall Street elite. The SEC is captive to the very industry it supposedly regulates and generally has a "hands off" approach against the big firms and prominent individuals because Wall Street gives big bucks to the politicians that keep the regulators in power.

Then you've got the arrogant politicians "watching out for the good of the public" who permitted, encouraged and fostered the big government sub-prime loan pyramid scheme with their favorite Wall Street elites in charge of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who doled out large political contributions to Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and other politicians who had oversight of these two agencies but who continually defended their anything-goes lending and resisted, rejected and belittled all efforts to reform them. Yet, these same politicians are now crying for a reform of the the financial service industry to take the public eyes off them. Literally, they are the foxes in the hen house!

Just follow the money from TARP - the very group composed of the above examples that created this global, unprecedented financial meltdown are the very beneficiaries of zillions of dollars while you and your clients are left holding the bag!

None of the above make sense until you realize how the "game" is played by this "Three Ring Circus". These examples and others are deeply imbedded on your clients and prospects' mind because they finally figured out that the Wall Street elites - the huge brokerage and investment banking firms - the so-called government regulators and power hungry politicians are scratching each others backs, each one turning a blind eye to their own arrogance and greed.Bottom line, you can't trust any of these clowns.

Consequently,for the foreseeable future, life as a financial planner, financial advisor, investment broker, etc. is not much fun and is more a struggle for survival than anything else. You may get ahead of the curve for a while if you have the time, money, and energy, but it's only a matter of time before these industry elites, regulators and politicians will again drain you dry with another debacle that invariably happens now every five to ten years.

Harley Hunter has been actively working in the financial service industry for over 40 years and finally found with the help of his son, Shaw, the solution to some of the biggest problems that have always plagued the industry and the individuals it serves. Click
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