The Spiro Group: Terrible to trust? (Updated Review 2023)

If you’re an investor residing in New Orleans, you must’ve heard of The Spiro Group Morgan Stanley. The person behind this operation, James Spiro, is a prominent personality in the region. However, that doesn’t mean he is a reliable financial advisor. 

The Spiro Group of Morgan Stanley preys upon high-net-worth institutions and individuals by trapping them in unfavorable agreements. Their terms and conditions have multiple problematic provisions you should know of. Understanding them will help you determine if they are truly worthy of your trust or not: 

About the Spiro Group Morgan Stanley

The Spiro Group Morgan Stanley is a financial advisory firm located at 1100 Poydras St Ste 1900, New Orleans, LA 70163, US. Their contact number is 504-585-3977. 

They claim to focus on understanding their client’s financial goals to offer them personalized and hands-on financial advice. Also, the firm claims to help its clients focus on their long-term goals by avoiding the distraction of short-term challenges. 

They offer their services to high-net-worth individuals and institutions. The firm focuses on portfolio hedging strategies, equity research, and new business planning development. 

Some of the various services they offer here are: 

  • Estate planning strategies
  • Trust accounts
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Qualified retirement plans
  • 529 plans
  • Cash management and lending products
  • Exchange-traded funds
  • Corporate retirement plans
  • Wealth management
  • 401(k) rollovers
  • Municipal bonds
  • Corporate bonds

James M Spiro is the managing director of Spiro Group Morgan Stanley. Other prominent people of this firm are David Butscher, Marc H. Miller, Romi Gonzalez, III, and Michael L Galiardi. 

Did You Know?

According to Federal Trade Commission, consumers ended up with a loss of more than $8.8 Billion in the year 2022, in the fraud scams (US).

Although this firm has received a lot of recognition, it seems they are using its brand name for the wrong reasons. Before you trust them with your finances, it would be best for you to check the following provisions. Because they have too many problematic provisions present in their disclosures:

Reasons Why You Should Not Trust the Spiro Group Morgan Stanley

Long History of Client Disputes

Before you check the accolades of a wealth advisor, you should look at his FINRA BrokerCheck profile. There, you can learn about his experience, state licenses, certifications, and the disputes he has faced. 

The FINRA BrokerCheck listing of James M Spiro shows three major disputes. 

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His first dispute occurred in 1994. Here, the client alleged unsuitability, manipulation of an unsophisticated customer, violation of the Know Thy Customer rule, and other regulations within the industry. 

They settled the case for $35,000. 

In response to this dispute, Spiro Group Morgan Stanley claimed that he had discussed every investment in detail with the client and that she is not an unsophisticated customer. Furthermore, he claimed that he only settled the case to avoid the time and nuisance of a legal battle. 

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His second dispute occurred in 1998. Here, the client’s attorney claimed that the trading in the client’s account was unsuitable, unauthorized, and excessive. 

James denied these allegations. He claimed that the client was well aware of all investment decisions. The client had requested $650,000 in damages. However, they settled the case for $110,000. 

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James faced his third dispute in 2004. Here, the client alleged that the investment was misrepresented. But they didn’t specify any damages. 

The firm denied the claim. However, they haven’t specified on what basis they denied this claim. So, there’s no way to find out why the firm was able to deny the claim. 

Such a long history of legal disputes shows that Spiro Group Morgan Stanley doesn’t hesitate to give unsuitable recommendations. It’s a pattern. Certainly, James doesn’t care about his clients as much as he claims to. 

As you’ll read his disclosures, you’ll realize that he still doesn’t care about his clients:

Charging Hidden Fees

The first red flag in the terms and conditions of the Spiro Group Morgan Stanley is that it charges 12b-1 fees. This is a marketing fee that goes straight into the advisor’s pockets. 

It doesn’t reflect any value. The 12b-1 fee only inflates the cost of the investment. According to an SEC study, the returns of the investments that charge this fee are no better than the investments that don’t charge this fee. 

Hence, the ROI of the investments that charge a 12b-1 fee is lower than others because of the similar returns and increased cost. 

So, you end up paying more while getting nothing in return. 

Another issue with 12b-1 fees is that it’s a percentage charge. This means how much you pay depends on the size of your portfolio. Hence, the 12b-1 fee is unsuitable for investors with large portfolios. 


The problematic history of James Spiro and the problematic provisions make the Spiro Group Morgan Stanley, a terrible choice for any investor. They are unreliable and their leader has a long history of misrepresentation. 

The firm tries its best to distract investors from these red flags by boasting about its accolades. However, if you value your financial safety, you should avoid dealing with them altogether. 

1.9 Total Score
Avoid James Spiro

James Spiro claims to be an expert wealth advisor who cares about his clients. However, his professional record shows that he only cares about manipulating gullible investors. The Spiro Group leader has faced too many legal disputes for his unethical activities.

2.5Expert Score
Concern for Clients
1.2User's score
Concern for Clients
  • None
  • Has faced too many disputes for misrepresentation
  • Charging 12b-1 fees
  • History of manipulating clients
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  1. 1.1
    Concern for Clients

    Waste a lot of time. Highly unprofessional.

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  2. 0.1
    Concern for Clients

    There was a time when you could trust your advisor without worrying too much. But those times are gone. Nowadays these financial advisors have started using various exploitation tactics to take advantage of the gullible investor.

    The Spiro Group seems like one of those crony advisory groups. I wouldn’t want to be their client, that’s for sure.

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