Why You Should Consider a Third Party Custodian

retirmentOver the past several years, the financial services industry has been plagued with fraud cases. From Ponzi schemes to embezzlement and fraud, investors have a lack of trust in the people in charge of their investments. When it comes to personal investments or smaller corporate investments, most people believe that their account are protected from the same illegal behaviors. Unfortunately, most investors do not take even the most basic steps to safeguard their money from fraudulent activities.

When the markets are doing well, it is easy to get distracted by a growing retirement account and forget that managing risk should be on the forefront of our investment planning. One of the single most important ways to protect your investments is to consider utilizing a third-party custodian. Unlike a broker, a third-party custodian is required to deliver reports that are separate from the holdings report provided by your investment advisor or corporate management.

This extra layer of protection creates a firewall between your money and your advisor.  In essence, the custodian is the gatekeeper or watchdog for your account. The custodian is required to provide their client a quarterly statement detailing all account activity. This includes deposits, withdrawals, trades and any management fees that have been deducted. If an independent custodian suspects fraudulent activity of any kind, they can take the proper action, contacting the account holder and / or reporting the advisor to the appropriate regulators.

About Objectively Speaking

Tom Batterman, founder of Vigil Trust & Financial Advocacy and Financial Fiduciaries, LLC is in the business of representing the best financial interests of his clients. Having provided objective, fee-only financial management services for over two decades, he specializes in managing the investment and related financial affairs of individuals and mutual insurance companies who do not have the time, interest or expertise to manage such matters on their own. As an objective, unbiased professional who takes on a fiduciary responsibility to his clients, he guides clients to the financial decisions they would make themselves if they had years of training and experience and the time and expertise to fully research and understand all of their options. Founded in 2010 as an outgrowth of Vigil Trust & Financial Advocacy, Financial Fiduciaries, LLC is a financial management solution for individuals and mutual insurance companies who recognize they do not have the time, interest or expertise to properly attend to their financial matters on their own. While there are many financial “advisors”, most of them have investment products to sell and the “advice” they provide is geared toward getting their clients to engage in a purchase. As one of the rare subset of advisors known as “fiduciary advisors”, Financial Fiduciaries does not sell any investment product so its guidance is not compromised by conflicts of interest which plague ordinary advisors. Prior to his employment in the financial industry in financial advocacy and trust positions, he worked at a private law practice in the Wausau area in the areas of estate planning, tax, retirement planning, corporate organizations and real estate. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the UW-Madison Law School and has during his career held Series 7, 24 and 65 securities licenses. A longtime resident of the Wausau, Wisconsin Area, Tom is active in the community. He enjoys golf, curling, skiing, fishing, traveling and spending time with his family.
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