Today, Open Window was "Confirmed" as one of the "Best Financial Advisor Firms Nevada 2021".
We turned the recognition down.
While we strive to be among the best, especially in our clients' eyes, this 'award' was nothing more than a pay-to-play advertisement.
Be cautious of advisor awards
The next time you come across an "award-winning" financial firm, be cautious. There are many awards and systems of recognition that can be purchased. Many exist largely to dupe investors. How else would you describe an "award" that was intended to be advertised in exchange for a few dollars?
...some professional awards, rankings, and designations provide little or no basis on which to judge the skill or abilities of the financial professional.
While the government's focus is on "Fraudsters", there are plenty of legitimate financial firms operating legally, but in our opinion operating unethically.
Be cautious of advisor credentials
The same caution should be applied to financial designations.
As this SEC Investor Alert states, "Beware of False or Exaggerated Credentials":
Do not trust someone with your investment money just because he or she claims to have impressive credentials or experience, or manages to create a “buzz of success”...
Use the tool below to decode the letters that sometimes follow a financial professional’s name.
Seach the designation to view its general qualifications and educational requirements (if any). See whether the issuing organization requires continuing education, takes complaints, or has a way for you to confirm who holds the credential.
We hold one of the accredited designations in high regard: the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional (CFP® practitioner) designation. Learn more about selecting the right CFP® professional here.
How to select an advisor
With so many professional financial charlatans, in selecting or retaining an advisor, how do you know if you’re making a wise choice?
This is a challenging subject, indeed. The stakes are high. The quality of your selection, or lack thereof, can literally make or break your family’s finances. Also, the choices can be bewildering. It can be difficult to determine what to look for and who to trust.
Jane Bryant Quinn, a veteran financial journalist, described the landscape as follows:
Recent legislation “creates fake fiduciaries. It’s a disaster for investors because now a salesperson can basically say, ‘I have your best interest at heart — I put your interest ahead of mine.’ They’re allowed to use exactly the same language that fiduciaries use but without actually being fiduciaries.”
To determine whether an advisor is sitting on your side of the table:
Make sure the advisor will uphold a fiduciary duty to you across your entire relationship, "full-time"… and will agree to that in writing.
Review the advisor's background, asking critical questions.
Beyond that, look for someone you get along with on a personal level. If you and your advisor don’t “click,” even good advice may be hard to follow.
At Open Window, we are proud to be a full-time fiduciary, fee-only Registered Investment Advisor firm.
We hope we're a good fit with you, but even if we aren't, we still want you to get the assistance you need.
Together, let’s explore your financial possibilities. We look forward to answering any questions you may have.