The Walker Group – Morgan Stanley

Finding the suitable wealth advisor can be extremely difficult. But if you know which advisors you have to avoid, you can narrow down your search more easily and ensure that you don’t make a grave mistake. One such advisory firm that you should avoid is the Walker Group Morgan Stanley. 

Why should you avoid this firm? Well, there are plenty of flaws to talk about. 

First, the firm’s leadership has a shady past. Apart from that, its disclosures have many problematic provisions that put you and your portfolio at risk. In the following review, you’ll learn about these issues briefly so you can make a better-informed decision. 

About the Walker Group Morgan Stanley

The Walker Group Morgan Stanley is a financial advisory firm based in Washington DC. Its office is situated at 1747 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Ste 700, Washington, DC 20006, US and its contact number is 202-292-5400. 

The firm claims to help high net worth families, philanthropic enterprises and businesses with their planning, liability management, investing, and governance needs. They offer multiple services to their clients including risk management, comprehensive wealth planning, pre-liquidity planning, corporate services, investment management, and more. 

Dexter Mead Walker is the Executive Director at this firm while Suzanne Ratelle Spano is the Associate Vice President. 

The firm also helps its clients with cash management, lending, business services, and lifestyle advisory. 

All of these claims sound good on paper but the Walker Group Morgan Stanley has plenty of issues that you must know about before you consider handing them your business. 

Reasons Why You Should Avoid the Walker Group Morgan Stanley

There are many reasons why you should stay away from the Walker Group Morgan Stanley. The most prominent ones among them are the following: 

Unreliable Leadership

As you start looking for a new financial advisor, it’s always best to search their name on the FINRA BrokerCheck database. There, you can learn about their past experience, their qualifications, their state licenses, and most importantly, their legal disputes. 

Dexter Walker’s FINRA BrokerCheck listing shows that he had one customer dispute in 2003. It might not seem like much at first but the allegations made in this dispute are too severe to ignore. 

The client alleged that Dexter made unauthorized trades and failed to follow instructions. They requested $5,000 in damages. 

Dexter’s firm denied the claim but they haven’t specified on what grounds did they deny such a serious claim. 

Facing allegations of making unauthorized trades and failing to follow instructions is no small matter. This dispute shows that Dexter Walker doesn’t hesitate to ignore his clients’ interests for his own. If your advisor makes unauthorized trades on your behalf, you can suffer serious losses or worse, see your money embezzled somewhere else. 

No wonder the Walker Group Morgan Stanley tries to hide this vital information from its prospective clients. 

Putting Clients at Excessive Risk

The advisors at the Walker Group Morgan Stanley charge you performance-based fees, a highly notorious practice in the finance industry. 

When they follow a performance-based fee structure, their pay depends on the performance of certain securities. This encourages them to implement high-risk strategies as they can offer better performance in the short-term. 

However, high-risk strategies seldom work. In most cases, these strategies generate poor and negative results (losses) for the investor. 

High-risk strategies are particularly detrimental to portfolios that focus on long-term growth. In the long-run, such strategies always fail and the investor pays the price. If you suffer losses because of your advisor’s high-risk strategies, you can’t hold them responsible for it. That’s because they can say that you understood all the risk and they didn’t make any decisions without your consent. 

This fee structure incentivizes your advisor to pursue  high-risk strategies regardless of their alignment with your requirements. Studies show that advisors who follow this fee structure double down on the risk and generate poor returns. 

Earning from Commissions

The Walker Group Morgan Stanley earns a lot of revenue from the commission it earns from the sale of proprietary and affiliated products. When your advisor earns from commissions, they have monetary incentive for ignoring your requirements. 

Selling proprietary investments restricts the number and variety of investments an advisor can recommend to his clients. As a result, you might miss out on plenty of lucrative and suitable investment opportunities only because they wouldn’t generate sufficient commissions for the Walker Group Morgan Stanley. 

Earning from commissions is among the biggest reasons why advisors give unsuitable recommendations to their clients. They might prioritize their wallet over yours, which can be highly dangerous. 

Keep in mind that Dexter has a history of ignoring his client’s instructions and requirements. 

In most cases, the advisors recommend mediocre investments to their clients that yield them high commissions. This way, the client believes that the mediocre returns they are receiving are the best they can get while the advisor is happily getting his commission checks. 

Conclusion

The Walker Group Morgan Stanley is a horrible financial advisory firm that doesn’t care about its clients. They have many conflicts of interest in their disclosures which suggest the firm is growing at the expense of its clients’ portfolios. 

Signing up as their client can prove to be a grave mistake because you can’t trust their recommendations. Moreover, the leadership of this firm has a dicey past. 

All of this suggests that you should avoid the Walker Group Morgan Stanley and find a different wealth management firm. 

2.8Expert Score
Too Risky

After going through their disclosures and past disputes, it’s evident that The Walker Group Morgan Stanley doesn’t care about its clients. It would be best for you to find a different wealth management firm and avoid this one altogether.

Trust
3
Experience
3.5
Service
2
Concern for Clients
2.5
Pros
  • None
Cons
  • Unreliable leadership
  • Putting clients at excessive risk
  • Earning from commissions
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