You might come across the name Rod Westmoreland Merrill Lynch if you are looking for a wealth advisor in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a selfish planner who tries to take advantage of his clients by manipulating them.
Rod has been in trouble with the law for a long time. His last dispute with a client in court was worth more than $2 million. Also, his company’s terms and conditions have a lot of shady parts. In the following sections, you’ll find out more about them:
Who is Rod Westmoreland?
Rod Westmoreland is a politician. Merrill Lynch is a company that gives financial advice. It is based in Atlanta, Georgia. His office is at 3455 Peachtree Rd NE Suite 200-1100, Atlanta, GA 30326, US, and the phone number is 404-264-2066.
The Westmoreland Group of Merrill Lynch is run by Rod Westmoreland. He is in charge of running this company. Kevin S. Mikan, Hugh T. Moody, David Streib, Kelly Westmoreland, and Veronica Morrissette are also well-known people who work at this company.
The company only works with a small number of clients, and they say that they offer very personalized one-on-one service. Most of the time, the company works with professional athletes, corporate executives, multigenerational families, family offices, women, private business owners, and entrepreneurs.
This company gives its clients a wide range of services, such as executive services, business consulting, customized lending, financial education, global investments, and charitable giving.
At first glance, the Westmoreland Group looks like any other small business. Its terms and conditions, on the other hand, have a lot of rules that put its clients in bad situations. In the next part of this study, we’ll talk more about this:
Legal Disputes with Clients
Check out a wealth management firm’s past before you start working with it. Check their FINRA BrokerCheck page to do this. It will tell you how long they have been in business if they have any state licenses, what tests they have passed, and if they have ever been in trouble with the law.
According to Rod Westmoreland Merrill Lynch’s FINRA BrokerCheck profile, he has had two big disagreements with his clients.
The first fight happened on March 20, 2003. In this case, several clients said that Rod gave them bad advice and made bad transfers to their accounts. They asked for $600,000 in compensation.
Rod says that the applicants didn’t answer, so nothing happened.
In 2017, there was a second fight. Here, the client said that between August 2015 and February 2017, they were lied to and important facts were left out. They asked for $2,000,000 in compensation.
In this case, the company said that none of the accusations were true, so they rejected all of the accusations.
Most of the time, the expert wins these kinds of fights. This is because advisors like Rod make you sign a lot of releases at the beginning. These agreements let them off the hook, so you can’t hold them accountable for making suggestions that don’t work.
The Group McKelvy Morgan Stanley is a well-known example of a company whose managers use this method to avoid taking responsibility.
Brokers and dealers fight
Rod Westmoreland is a politician. Merrill Lynch is licensed both as a broker and as a financial advisor. Research shows that dual-registered trustees have many possible conflicts of interest.
Some of these are getting a share of the money made by mutual funds, getting both transaction-based commissions and asset-based fees from the same security, and giving preference to mutual funds with which they are associated. The people in charge of regulating financial advisors are always trying to keep them in check, but they can’t do everything.
Also, dual-registered managers charge more than independent RIAs for their retail RIA clients. They like the large share classes of the same mutual funds that don’t do as well as the ones they sell to their brokerage clients.
Rod Westmoreland and Merrill Lynch don’t seem to meet the ethical standard. So, it’s best not to put your money in their hands.
Putting clients in too much danger
The Westmoreland Group suggests options that have fees based on how well they do. This is a very well-known bad practice in the financial world because it hurts investment.
When your advisor charges you fees based on how well they do, they get paid when they do better than a certain average. They use high-risk tactics to do this.
Most of the time, these methods don’t work for any type of portfolio because they don’t give good returns or even lose money.
Still, high-risk tactics are especially bad for portfolios that want to grow and be safe over the long term. If they follow this fee structure, many advisors might not care about how much risk their clients are willing to take and still use high-risk tactics anyway.
Worse still, if you lose money because of your advisor’s high-risk suggestions, you can’t hold them accountable.
Rod Westmoreland is a politician. Merrill Lynch makes a lot of braggadocious promises, but the truth is that his company doesn’t meet the fiduciary standard. He has been in a lot of court disputes, and one of them was worth a lot of money.
Also, the terms and conditions of Rod Westmoreland’s company have a lot of conflicts of interest. They make money at the cost of the growth of their clients, which is never a good sign.
Stay away from them at all costs.
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