Financial News

The Mutual Fund Merry-Go-Round
Individual investors should take control of their financial destinies, educate themselves, avoid sales pitches and invest in a well-diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds.
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Sierra Nevada Wealth to Help NFL Players in case of Lockout
Please see the attached press release, “Sierra Nevada Wealth to Waive Management Fees in case of NFL Lockout.”
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Put client interests first? Horror!

In poll after poll, the public continues to indicate that they believe brokerage houses are required to operate in the clients’ best interests. Unfortunately, most learn the hard way that this is 100% false.
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Portfolio Management, 101
In many ways, the essence of portfolio management is managing the relationships between the assets in your portfolio.
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Sierra Nevada Wealth Mangement Acquires Trust Company
Check out the press release on the latest news from Sierra Nevada Wealth Management.
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Retirees Duped into Risky Investments

Structured notes are just the latest example of individual investors being pushed into sophisticated investments, with risks either lacking disclosure or product complexity being so high that the average investor has no idea of what they are being sold.
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A Wise Year for Giving?

While much attention has been given to the fact that there is no estate tax this year, there is another way to help your heirs this year.
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Selecting and Sizing Alternative Investments

This recent article, written by Greg Crawford, details how alternative investments can improve the diversification and performance characteristics in portfolios.
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ETFs for the Wealthy

Exchange traded funds (“ETFs”), once used as simple building blocks of “beta” exposure in small accounts, have become more sophisticated and can be effective tools used in a number of high-net worth portfolios.
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Why the brokerage makes money and you don’t

This recent article in the New York Times highlights the multiple ways in which a brokerage house does not serve your best interest. Unlike what the article suggests, you don’t have to “learn to live with it.”
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When 100% “Protected” Equals Zero
This recent article from the NY Times highlights a consistent problem we see – high commission products being shoehorned into portfolios.
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The Game is Rigged

Many people have been inquiring about the Goldman Sachs situation in our offices. While conflicts of interest plague brokerage houses (not our firm), the allegations in this case are particularly disturbing.
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A Plan for Pro Athletes
Unfortunately there are a lot of examples of those who come into sudden wealth at a young age who ultimately lose their financial footing and declare bankruptcy. This does not have to happen.
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A Decade of Violated Trust

Every industry and business faces challenges; however the recent developments in our industry have challenged the very core of finance.
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A Decade of Violated Trust

Posted: 1/13/2010

This is the issue of trust. We have an extremely high responsibility in this business. We are managing the assets and wealth of people and families who have worked for years and in some cases, generations to earn. It is a significant responsibility, and one which we take very seriously.

Unfortunately, many institutions do not properly recognize this responsibility. The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article describing the “Decade of Dishonesty” in finance – from analysts publishing bogus stock recommendations for IPO activity, regulators who missed numerous and obvious warnings of fraud, and Wall Street institutions (those which did not collapse) who continue to peddle investments with substantial conflicts of interest. Insider trading is alive and well in the hedge fund world, and ratings agencies continue face questions regarding their own motives.

It is against this industry backdrop that we operate our firm.

We at Sierra Nevada Wealth Management worked very hard to design a firm that is transparent, and fair to our investors. While the legal term is a fiduciary, it is in practice, a firm which you can “trust.” There are two key elements to trust in finance: 1) That your investment team is component and knowledgeable, and 2) that their expertise will be used for you and not against you.

While point one is at least to some degree, handled by industry tests and regulations, point two is not. Buried in the fine print of documents at many brokerage houses are numerous disclaimers which highlight the fact that you are essentially on your own in the wild world of finance.

One of the largest US brokerage firms notes to its clients that they must “… understand that we do not have a fiduciary or advisory relationship with you and our obligations to disclose information regarding our business, conflicts between our interest and yours and other matters are more limited than if we had a fiduciary or advisory relation with you.” Additionally, the firm notes that “we are paid by you and, sometimes, by people who compensate us based on what you buy.” No wonder people on Main Street are skeptical.

As a reminder, we are compensated solely by our clients. As an independent firm, we have no allegiance other than to you. We have no products to push, or commission targets to meet. We work to lower your total cost of investing (thereby increasing your returns), not secretly inflate it to please the home office. Our compensation is clear and detailed, and by hiring us you have an advocate in the complex world of finance.