Truth of the Trade: Financial Advisors

Tom Moran of Moran Wealth Management clears up a common misconception about his profession.

It’s easy to judge another industry from the outside, with ideas formed by what we see on TV, hear on the news or experienced through our friends. But not all stories and stereotypes are true. The best way to debunk myths about an industry? Turning to those who know it best.

The Myth: Different financial advisors at the same firm will give the same investment advice, service and portfolio performance.

The Truth: “The industry has done a lot of advertising encouraging clients to see themselves as clients of the firm rather than of the individual advisor,” says Tom Moran, the founder and CEO and senior PIM portfolio manager of Moran Wealth Management. But not all financial experts are the same.

“There is a wide range of advisors—some have advanced certifications, degrees or designations,” Moran says. “Some work as part of a team and offer a full range of different services, and some advisors work as a sole practitioner. They can all work for the same major firm.”

So, who do you turn to when you need your money managed? It depends on what you’re looking for, Moran says, whether it’s an ongoing connection or one-time advice. “If [you’re] looking for long-term relationships for multiple generations of family, [you] may be better off working with a team that has a wide range of ages, years of experience, and qualifications.” Otherwise, a sole practitioner may do just fine.