We are biased of course, but simply put; we are different because we put you at the center of everything we do. As a result, many things we do and how we do them are different than our peers.
Some differences are obvious, like how we use the financial plan as a framework for all the decisions we make together, from investing to estate planning. But some are not so obvious. They are behind-the-scenes such as language in our documents which benefits you.
Last Friday, The Wall Street Journal published an article about an arbitration clause used by most financial firms. Part of the headline reads, “Battling with a financial adviser who has wronged you is wildly expensive – and the fight will almost certainly happen in secret. That needs to change”.
All registered investment advisors, like TenBridge, have client agreements in place as mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The regulators dictate the categories of the client agreement, but mostly the firms dictate the language.
One area of note is Item 14, Client Advisor Conflicts. Under this section the Firm you do business with stipulates how conflicts will be resolved. Most Firms require arbitration of conflicts, in large part to keep them secret and outside public scrutiny. You sign an agreement to this clause when you open an account with them and/or sign the client agreement, giving away your right to sue the firm or pursue them in other ways.
The arbitration company you must use is sometimes also designated beforehand, and you are expected to carry some of the associated cost. It can be a very expensive and complicated process, as described in the Wall Street Journal article.
When we created our TenBridge Client Agreement, this didn’t sit right with us.
I encourage you to read the attached article from The Wall Street Journal and know, here at TenBridge, this is what your client agreement says:
After reading this article, it brought me a sense of pride and it dawned on me just how different TenBridge is, both in ways you can see and in ways you cannot.
We are pleased to be a firm that challenges the status quo for the benefit of our clients and wanted to highlight how we do things, and at least one tangible, not so obvious example of what sets us apart.
We think the “best of all possible worlds” is working with you in good faith, mutually, voluntarily, and on record.
From the desk of Erik Lawrence CFP®