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The Athelon Advantage™

Financial Services – A Few Words On Terminology

The abundance of professional designations used by individuals within the financial services industry (e.g. ‘broker’, ‘financial planner’, ‘financial adviser’, ‘financial consultant’) is often confusing even to the most experienced investors. Nevertheless, having an understanding of the differences between these various titles could have a dramatic effect on your long-term results and overall satisfaction.

As an example, the term ‘financial adviser’ is one of the most commonly used terms in the business. However, many of the individuals using this title are salespeople working to meet quotas by selling financial products. They may, in some cases, sell non-marketable securities which require long-term commitments, excessive fees, and a high level of risk. Under the current regulations, these salespeople may operate under the “suitability” standard and are legally permitted to put their own interests ahead of those of their clients.

There are also ‘fee-based advisers’ who earn income both from management fees paid by clients and commissions earned from the sale of certain financial instruments, such as insurance or annuities. This blended compensation model may influence advisers to sell investments which generate high commissions but may not suited to their clients’ best interests or investment goals.

Perhaps the most worrying aspect of the financial services industry is that the individuals referring to themselves as ‘advisers’ may lack the necessary credentials or investment experience crucial to serving clients in a professional manner. This also means that they may not be licensed, regulated, or bound by any particular code of ethics.

The fact is that investors have time and time again been sold products which are illiquid, non-marketable, highly risky, and lacking in transparency and disclosure. These products may be highly lucrative to the salesperson but also potentially detrimental to the client in the long-term. This business model was arguably one of the major contributors to the recent financial crisis. We believe this to be simply an unacceptable way to do business.

The Athelon Advantage™

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Our goal is to serve as an alternative to these business models by putting our clients’ interests first, emphasizing excellent customer service, and building long-term relationships based on trust and confidence. As an Independent Fee-Only Registered Investment Adviser, Athelon Wealth Management is compensated only by management fees paid by our clients. We never accept third-party commissions or referral fees. We are also not affiliated with any financial institutions. These factors minimize the potential for conflicts of interest which have existed throughout the financial industry for so many years.

In addition, Athelon Wealth Management does not impose a minimum account size. Our belief is that sound financial advice should be available to everyone, regardless of their net worth or amount of assets under management.

From a regulatory perspective, we operate under the fiduciary standard, which is a legal obligation to put your interests ahead of our own. It is the highest standard of care and mandates a relationship based on ethics, confidence, and trust. We believe that living up to the fiduciary standard exemplifies the optimal adviser-client relationship. Accordingly, this is the foundation upon which Athelon Wealth Management was built, and it continues to be our main operating principle.

Contact us today at 347-706-1414 or click here to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how our services can benefit you.