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Michael Kitces attacks CNBC for its top-100 fee-only list because so many listed RIAs disclose non-fee comp on their ADVs

The New York-based news organization fires back by encouraging a closer reading of its methodology

Author Lisa Shidler
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Michael Kitces: CNBC is now literally contradicting the statements of the firms themselves as written in their ADV documents.

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Consulting Firm
Top Executive: Michael Kitces

Mister RIA

Mister RIA

June 4, 2015 — 8:39 PM

Here’s #1’s founder and CEO Peter Mallouk accepting the award and not even mentioning that he sells insurance and owns the law firm it refers it’s own clients too. (He did the same thing last year.) This is in no way fee only. Come on, he sells insurance to the clients, read the ADV for Creative Planning.


Notice he doesn’t claim to be fee only nor does he use this award to promote himself… because he knows it’s a lie…


Stephen Winks

Stephen Winks

June 5, 2015 — 1:50 AM

Kitces makes a great point lost on the brokerage world, if fiduciary duty and fee only compensation is to be achieved, a new generation of totally transparent insurance products is in order which explains coverage and delineates associated cost for comparative purposes. A very small number of insurance brokers at the M-Group write more than ten percent of total US insurance premium utilizing this methodology working extensively through the big four accounting firms. Kitces is saying that this is in the consumer’s best interest and should be the rule rather than the exception.


Marty Morua

Marty Morua

June 5, 2015 — 7:07 AM

They’re embarrassed. That’s it. It boils down to just that (and maybe too proud to admit their error). Maybe they just don’t completely understand the fee vs commission differences. If they’d simply fess’ up, say sorry for our error and thank you Mr. Kitces for educating us, CNBC might come out in a better/humbler light.

Marty Morua

David Demming

David Demming

January 13, 2016 — 11:57 PM

Even though 98-99% of our revenue is asset fees and retainers, we accept insurance and mortgage and title fees Rather than argue the nuances, we do do not claim fee only yes we believe at that proportion we are both the spirit and the reality of fee-based. Both divisions insurance and fiancing lose money for us but that is only after the costs of providing hose services would be expensed against that diminimous revenue. We had a humorous part of our recent SEC audit when they asked for the volume of loans for the year seceded 10 million dollars yet gross revenue was $5,000. They key is we are are attempting to serve th best interest’s of our clients and protect them from predators.

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