The state of Pennsylvania is home to the financial planning company known as Brandywine Oak Private Wealth. This company was started by a group of people, including Michael Henley, Steve Maconi, and Allisoon Brooks, among others.
Planning for retirement, planning for income taxes, planning for insurance, and a whole host of additional services are all available from them. On the other hand, it’s possible that the time and money you invest in these services won’t be worth it.
As I was preparing this evaluation, I came across various problems with the services provided by Brandywine Oak Private Wealth. When looking for a financial advisor, a lot of people neglect to consider these factors because they are preoccupied with the advisor’s previous successes.
That is why it was so important to do this review. It is against the interests of financial advisors for their clients to learn such information.
The following considerations will demonstrate why it is possible that Brandywine Oak Private Wealth is not the right choice for you:
Brandywine Oak Private Wealth: About the Firm
The state of Pennsylvania is home to the financial planning company known as Brandywine Oak Private Wealth. They can be reached at the following address: 500 Old Forge Ln #501, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania 19348, United States. The Beiler-Campbell Business Center is home to the Brandywine Oak office building.
The company has not been around for very long. They made their debut on the market in the year 2018, which is three years ago. However, the members of its staff as well as its founders have years of experience in providing financial advising services.
But in the world of finance, merely having experience and a list of accomplishments is not enough. As we continue our conversation, you will learn about the numerous ethical problems that exist within this company as well as the reasons why it is best to steer clear of collaborating with them.
The following individuals are the primary drivers behind Brandywine Oak Private Wealth:
Brandywine Oak Private Wealth was started by Michael Henley. He is also the CEO of the company and a business advisor for private clients. He used to work at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management before he started this company. Michael Henley Brandywine Oak has a number of licenses, including CFP, CPWA, CRPC, and RMA.
Alison Brooks is the co-founder and COO of Brandywine Oak Private Wealth. In Forbes 2021, Alison was recognized among the Best-In-State Wealth Advisors. She holds CFP and CRPC certifications.
Steve Maconi is a founding partner and the chairman of Brandywine Oak Private Wealth. He holds the CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) qualification. Steve is also a speaker on retirement planning. Before Brandywine Oak, he used to work with Michael at Merrill Lynch Wealth management.
Why Brandywine Oak Private Wealth is Unsuitable for You
So far, I have only mentioned the background of Brandywine Oak Private Wealth’s staff and its affiliation with PKS Investments.
While its affiliation with PKS Investments is a prominent red flag, it pales in comparison to the various ethical conflicts this firm has. The various conflicts of interest present in this firm’s disclosures suggest it would be best for their advisors to give subpar investment recommendations to their clients.
Following are their ethical conflicts:
Earns from Commissions
According to what they say, Brandywine Oak Private Wealth gets paid for its services through fees.
These commissions could come from selling investment goods. In other words, they sell investments on behalf of the companies whose shares they are selling.
This could hurt the level of the suggestions they make. Even if an investment isn’t right for you but pays higher commissions, the company might still suggest it.
Advice that isn’t right for you can hurt your cash situation. If the expert gets paid by commission, it’s more profitable for them to ignore your needs.
costs more for the same returns
Mutual funds with 12b-1 fees are sold by Brandywine Oak Private Wealth. 12b-1 fees are what a mutual fund pays to market and sell its shares. Most of the time, the assistant keeps it.
The 12b-1 fees make it more expensive to own a mutual fund without giving you anything in return. SEC had even done a study to compare the results of mutual funds with and without 12b-1 fees.
They found that the results from the two were the same. In fact, you would get worse results from mutual funds with 12b-1 fees because they cost more.
Also, since the company gets to keep this fee, they might promote mutual funds with 12b-1 fees to make more money. It doesn’t help you in any way.
Sells Insurance Products
Brandywine Oak Private Wealth is a company that helps people find insurance. This means that when they sell insurance goods, they get a commission.
If your financial planner sells insurance, you should be careful about what they tell you about insurance. Often, the counselor might sell you insurance you don’t need out of greed.
Another problem with these kinds of advisors is that they might suggest more expensive insurance products when there are cheaper options. The managers at Brandywine Oak Private Wealth have a reason to suggest insurance products that don’t meet their clients’ needs.
Charges Fees Based on Performance
Brandywine Oak Private Wealth gets paid based on how well its investments do. When your advisor gets paid based on how well they do, this means they get paid more if they do better than an index or a similar standard.
Even though it looks good, it is one of the worst ways to get paid in the advice business.
That’s because advisors who get paid based on how well they do tend to choose high-risk plans. Such tactics are risky for your money because they can quickly wipe out big parts of your earnings.
Research shows that mutual funds that charge fees based on how well they do take more chances than those that don’t and even do worse.
This is especially risky when the market is going down because it can lead to big loses.
Congress outlawed performance-based fees in 1940 because they were so dangerous. It came back in 1985, when the SEC started letting RIAs charge this fee for clients who were qualified.
Performs Side-by-side management
Side-by-side handling is done by Brandywine Oak Private Wealth. This means that they are in charge of both big accounts (like hedge funds and mutual funds) and smaller individual accounts.
With side-by-side management, advisors have a reason to favor bigger funds. This means that their retail clients end up with bad trade executions and different dealing costs.
If you have a small retail account with this kind of company, you might not get the service and care you need. Because of this, side-by-side management is a big red flag, and you should be wary of managers who do it.
Securities Suggested for Trades
From what it says in its papers, Brandywine Oak Private Wealth buys and sells the securities it advises its clients to buy. There are a lot of red flags about it.
First, it can let the expert change prices without the clients’ knowledge by using their money. Second, it gives them chances to do things that aren’t good, like front running.
When your advisor buys or sells shares before you do, this is called “front running.”
When suggesting a similar investment, a financial advisor should, ideally, tell you about all the positions they have in that investment.
But that’s only true in a perfect world. Often, the advisor doesn’t tell you what they have invested in or what roles they hold. This gives them a lot of ways to take advantage of their customers.
Why these things are important: Knowing about these issues helps you figure out if your advisor is looking out for your best interests or not.
Every company that helps people with money is a business. But they should act in an honest way and do what’s best for their clients.
Because of these problems, it’s rare that Brandywine Oak Private Wealth really cares about its clients. Many of them might not even be aware of these problems.
As an example, the managers at Brandywine Oak Private Wealth get paid through commissions. This means that they have a reason to suggest investments that give them higher fees, even if the investment doesn’t meet your goals or needs.
When this happens, the client gets less than ideal-results. They don’t know it, but they miss out on a lot of cash growth. You wouldn’t think that a very well-known expert would offer such a service, would you?
The people who work at Brandywine Oak Private Wealth take advantage of their client’s lack of knowledge by using their years of experience. The company’s disclosures about its different ethical conflicts suggest that it might not be giving its clients the best help.
They get paid more if they ignore your needs and goals when offering investments for you.
If you are a client of Brandywine Oak Private Wealth, you should look over your accounts as soon as possible. And if you find any problems, don’t be afraid to talk to your lawyer.
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