Brian Shambo: Vero Beach Wealth Advisor Lacks Ethics

Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch is a notable wealth advisor in Vero Beach, Florida. His firm makes many claims about its expertise and how much it cares about its clients. But the truth is that its terms and conditions contain many conflicts of interest. 

These conflicts of interest incentivize the firm to ignore its clients’ requirements. As an investor, knowing about these issues is your right to make a well-informed decision. The following review will help: 

Who is Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch

Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch is a financial consultant in Vero Beach, Florida. His office is located at 660 Beachland Blvd Suite 101, Vero Beach, FL 32963, US and its contact number is 772-231-9051. It opens from 9 AM to 5 PM on weekdays. 

Brian’s firm is Shambo Schwibner & Associates. It caters to families and claims to help them navigate the challenges of growing their assets, preserving their wealth, and planning their legacy. 

Brian Shambo is the Managing Director of this firm. Other notable people at this firm are Jeremy Schwibner (Senior Vice President) and Scott Schwartz (Assistant Vice President). 

They offer various services to their clients such as long-term care insurance, trust & estate planning services, home loans, succession planning, securities-based lending, exchange funds, educating funding, donor-advised funds, structured lending, charitable trusts, and more. 

While this firm claims to follow a goals-based wealth management process that aligns with its clients’ personal and professional lives, its disclosures disagree. According to its terms and conditions, Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch earns more profits when he ignores your interests. 

The next section of this detailed review will expand on these issues because Brian and his team wouldn’t:

Reasons to Avoid Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch 

When looking into a wealth advisor, it helps to check their professional history. To do so, you should check their FINRA BrokerCheck listing. 

You can learn about their past employers, their state licenses, their years of experience, and the legal conflicts they have faced in their careers. The FINRA BrokerCheck listing of Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch reveals one legal conflict. 

It occurred on 1-19-2016. The client alleged that Brian made unsuitable investment recommendations from March 2015 to January 2016. 

Did You know?

Most financial disputes are resolved by ADR methods, which include arbitration, negotiation, mediation, conciliation, and private judging. However, it needs to be noted that fewer lawsuits are filed for financial scams than for civil crimes, and people try to stick to the ADR methods due to the dubious agreements by the brokers. 

Merrill Lynch denied this complaint and claimed that it was without merit. 

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The client hadn’t specified any damages. 

It’s quite difficult for such disputes to end in the client’s favor. That’s because advisors like Brian make you sign multiple waivers at the beginning of your professional relationship. These waivers free them from any accountability if they give you unsuitable recommendations and cause losses. 

Another firm that uses this tactic to avoid responsibility is the Schultz Group Morgan Stanley

Charging Hidden Fees

Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch and his team recommend investments that charge 12b-1 fees. This is a percentage fee that depends on the size of your portfolio. Hence, it’s particularly harmful to families and their large portfolios. 

Another issue with 12b-1 fees is that it allows advisors to charge hidden fees. It’s a variable fee and they can charge you hidden fees under its guise.

What’s worse, investments that charge this fee don’t give any better returns than those that don’t. The SEC conducted a detailed study on this matter and found no difference between the returns of the two. 

The study concluded that the ROI of investments charging a 12b-1 fee is worse because of the increased costs. 

Companies pay brokers a marketing fee, so Brian Shambo and his team have a monetary incentive for priming such investments. Review the fees you pay if you opt to hand them your account. 

Selling Investments instead of Recommending Them

Brian and his team earn commissions from the sale of certain investment products. Some investments offer higher commissions than others. Hence, they have an incentive to promote those select investments and ignore the rest, even if they are unsuitable for most of their clients. 

This is bad news for most clients because they might receive subpar returns. 

Ideally, your wealth advisor would recommend investments solely based on their alignment with your goals. But when your advisor earns commissions, they might ignore your financial requirements to make an extra buck. 

It’s highly unethical but quite common. The best way to tackle this problem is to avoid such advisors altogether. 


After checking the problematic provisions and the legal dispute, it’s clear that Brian Shambo Merrill Lynch is not as reliable as he claims to be. His firm is using unethical tactics to trap investors in unfavorable agreements. 

It would be best to find a different wealth advisory firm and avoid Brian’s firm altogether. 

2.6Expert Score
Brian Shambo

The services and disclosures of this wealth advisor raise too many red flags. It seems as if Brian is actively trying to scam investors. That’s why it would be best to find a different financial advisor.

Concern for Clients
  • None
  • History of facing legal disputes
  • Charging hidden fees
  • Sells investments instead of recommending them

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