Hi, I’m Erik Wolfers, founder and managing member of First and Main Financial. We’ve been helping clients with perfectly personalized financials solutions since 2001. We take all kinds of clients. We’re happy to work with anyone that needs our help. There’s not an overwhelming number of people who are truly skilled in this profession and will work with anybody—so we like to help whoever wants our help, whoever needs our help, and we treat all of our clients the same.
Today, I want to talk just a little bit about treatment of people by the financial services industry. Sometimes I talk about the kinds of experiences that we have in dealing with counter-parties, mostly just trying to move assets. We recently had an episode with Fidelity Investments. It’s just shocking the way Fidelity Investments operates. It’s my experience that many large financial institutions feel if they’re not going to get paid, they don’t really want to help you.
In this particular circumstance, money was coming from Fidelity and they had been getting paid for years—they got paid a lot, and then when it turned out the money was going to move away from them, it seems like they almost have a systematic way of making it really hard, making it as challenging as possible. If you’re not a preferred client at Fidelity, then when you call you get a computer that tries to route you to the right person; sometimes that person is pretty good and knowledgeable, and sometimes they’re not at all—it’s just you’re taking up their time and they kind of let you know it with respect to the way that they treat you—it’s shocking.
For this particular circumstance, systems on the back end of the client’s accounts were updated correctly. There was confusion every time—every time we called we had to wait and hold, once we got somebody on the line so that they could talk with somebody behind the curtain, we got different information from different people—there was no accountability, no way to follow up with anybody ever. We actually wound up driving into a local office to try to get help face to face—every time it just didn’t work. Finally, we had to do things in a way that was less convenient, less optimal for the client—but it was a way of transferring the assets that Fidelity absolutely could not turn down. This whole process took almost a year.
I’ve mentioned before, this is the kind of thing that we do for our clients. Sometimes, you run into these frustrating circumstances, sometimes the counter company will just stonewall you and make it as hard as possible. It’s amazing that a company that has a brand like that could behave in such a way and treat clients like that—clients who paid them for years and years and years—but it happens. So, we’re happy to help you make your life easier and handle these kinds of circumstances on your behalf.
If you are looking for some financial guidance; whether for a one time financial plan or continuing advice on your investments, we invite you to meet with a First & Main Financial planner for a free consultation. We would be more than happy to sit down with you, assess your situation and review our services to help navigate your financial future.