Why the Rich Tend to Cheat on Their Brokers

Why the Rich Tend to Cheat on Their Brokers

By Marine Cole

For affluent Americans, having more than one financial adviser has now become the norm.

One in three Americans with more than $100,000 in investable assets started a relationship with a new financial services firm last year, seeking to combine the strengths of various firms to gain advice and resources, according to a new study released Tuesday by Hearts & Wallets, a financial research platform for consumers.

Related: The 6 Times You Really Need a Financial Adviser

Hearts & Wallets also noted that 55 percent of consumers with $500,000 in investable assets or more work with three or more firms.

Contrary to the popular image of wealthy investors dialing up their Wall Street broker, the Hearts & Wallets survey found that affluent investors are more likely to use self-service firms — discount brokerages like E*Trade or TD Ameritrade — than full-service brokers. More than 70 percent of investors with $500,000 or more use those self-service brokers, even if it’s for smaller “play money” accounts, compared with 40 percent for full-service firms such as Ameriprise and Edward Jones.

“It’s astonishing the self-service competitive set has deeper reach into investors with $500,000-plus, engaging more affluent investors than the full-service competitive set,” said Laura Varas, Hearts & Wallets partner and co-founder, in a press release.

Related: 6 Traits of an Emerging Millionaire: Are You One?​​​

Some wealthy investors use both. A common pattern is what Hearts & Wallets calls “stable two-timing,” or when investors balance a self-service firm with a full-service firm. Some consumers might even tap into multiple high-service firms to obtain different advice.

“Just as in retail stores, wealthy customers may trust and frequent a Bloomingdale’s, but they will still shop at Costco, too,” Varas said. “Smart consumers compare.”

Top Reads from The Fiscal Times:

Chart of the Day: A Buying Binge Driven by Tax Cuts

By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Wall Street Journal reports that the tax cuts and economic environment are prompting U.S. companies to go on a buying binge: “Mergers and acquisitions announced by U.S. acquirers so far in 2018 are running at the highest dollar volume since the first two months of 2000, according to Dealogic. Thomson Reuters, which publishes slightly different numbers, puts it at the highest since the start of 2007.”

Number of the Day: 5.5 Percent

The debate over national health care aside, more Americans today say they get "excellent health care" than did in the early 2000s, according to <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/150806/rate-own-healthcare-quality-coverage-excellent.aspx" target="_blank"
Getty Images
By Yuval Rosenberg

Health care spending in the U.S. will grow at an average annual rate of 5.5 percent from 2017 through 2026, according to new estimates published in Health Affairs by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The projections mean that health care spending would rise as a share of the economy from 17.9 percent in 2016 to 19.7 percent in 2026.

Part of the Shutdown-Ending Deal: $31 Billion More in Tax Cuts

The U.S. Capitol building is lit at dusk ahead of planned votes on tax reform in Washington, U.S., December 18, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/Files
Joshua Roberts
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Margot Sanger-Katz and Jim Tankersley in The New York Times: “The deal struck by Democrats and Republicans on Monday to end a brief government shutdown contains $31 billion in tax cuts, including a temporary delay in implementing three health care-related taxes.”

“Those delays, which enjoy varying degrees of bipartisan support, are not offset by any spending cuts or tax increases, and thus will add to a federal budget deficit that is already projected to increase rapidly as last year’s mammoth new tax law takes effect.”

IRS Paid $20 Million to Collect $6.7 Million in Tax Debts

The IRS provides second chances to get your tax return right with Form 1040X.
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Congress passed a law in 2015 requiring the IRS to use private debt collection agencies to pursue “inactive tax receivables,” but the financial results are not encouraging so far, according to a new taxpayer advocate report out Wednesday.

In fiscal year 2017, the IRS received $6.7 million from taxpayers whose debts were assigned to private collection agencies, but the agencies were paid $20 million – “three times the amount collected,” the report helpfully points out.

Like what you're reading? Sign up for our free newsletter.