Small Investors Pay the Price with Big Wall Street Firms

New Fees for Small Investors at Big Wall Street Firms Destroy Wealth

Investment News – MSSB Hits Small Accounts With New Fees – 04/19/10

According to advisers at the firm, which fields the world’s largest retail brokerage force at about 18,000 brokers, the changes include:

• Payouts on household accounts under $100,000 are limited to 20%, no matter how high a broker’s total production, and ratchet down to zero on accounts under $50,000.

• Plain-vanilla, no-fee brokerage accounts have been converted to financial-management accounts (with checking account and credit card “privileges”) that carry a $150 annual fee for clients.”

MSSB = Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC this month began imposing quarterly fees of $35 on households with total accounts under $25,000, the latest development in big brokerage firms’ long-simmering campaigns to wean financial advisers from small accounts.

Some brokers said that they understand that their companies need to eliminate unprofitable small accounts in order to maintain their high-fixed-cost support systems, improve profit margins and satisfy shareholders.

Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., now a part of Bank of America Corp., has shunted small accounts from brokers to call centers for more than a decade by using a combination of higher fees and lower payouts. The call center model, known as the financial advisory center, generally serves clients with a combined banking and investment relationship of less than $250,000, said Matthew Card, a BofA spokesman.

Merrill still makes plenty of money on $250,000 accounts but doesn’t want advisers wasting time on them, said the longtime head of a multimillion-dollar team, who noted that Merrill essentially eliminates payouts on accounts under $100,000.

Question:Best Interests of Clients or Shareholders? Answer:Shareholders

Why would a Financial Advisor take an interest in a small client’s well being when their employer penalizes them or simply does not pay them?

Why would a client with less than $250,000 stay with a company that does not want their Financial Advisors “wasting time” on them?

Why would a client stay with a company that is obligated by law to place the interests of Shareholders before the interests of Clients?

Skloff Financial Group

Skloff Financial Group is a privately owned and operated independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).

As a privately owned and operated independent RIA, we are obligated by law to place the interests of Clients before the interests of every shareholder, employee or any other party – every time.

Skloff Financial Group has no minimum account size.  Our fees are based on the value of your assets. Your fees do not increase unless the value of your assets increase. This creates a partnership where your success dictates our success.

Obligated by Law to Act in the Best Interests of


Obligated by Law to Act in the Best Interests of


AIG Advisors – American Intl Group
AXA Advisors – AXA
Ameriprise Financial
Goldman Sachs
ING Advisors – ING Group
Skloff Financial Group Merrill Lynch – Bank of America
Morgan Stanley
Smith Barney – Citigroup
UBS Financial Services – UBS
Wachovia Securities – Wells Fargo


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