Avoid Winburn Wealth Management – UBS Financial Services Inc
Winburn Wealth Management is a financial advisory firm in Arkansas. They claim to focus on helping their clients but their terms and conditions suggest their main priority is their wallets.
Hence, before you consider working with them, read through the main red flags present in their disclosures:
About Winburn Wealth Management
Winburn Wealth Management is a financial consultancy firm based in Little Rock, Arkansas. They are a part of UBS Financial Services Inc and their address is 10800 Financial Center Parkway Suite 400, 4th Floor, Little Rock, AR 72211, US.
The contact number of their office is 501-221-5101. Hardy Winburn is the founder of this firm and has been running it since 2002. He has CFP, CIMA, CLU, ChFC, CFS, RICP, and CEPA certifications.
Winburn Wealth Management offers various planning and investing services to its clients. While the firm claims to prioritize clients over anything, the disclosures tell a different story.
Below are the problems present in the disclosures of this firm:
Issues Present in Winburn Wealth Management They Try to Hide:
$600,000 Dispute with Client
Before you start working with any advisor, you should look them up on FINRA BrokerCheck. It’s a database that tells you all the professional details you need to know about financial advisors.
When you look up Hardy Winburn on FINRA BrokerCheck, it shows he had a dispute with one of his clients in 2009. The client alleged that he was negligent in assuring him a better rate of return and in increasing his risk with a margin account between 2007 and 2008.
Hardy’s client had requested $600,000 in damages. The claim was denied as the financial advisor said that the client had agreed to all the implemented strategies and plans.
Still, having such a big dispute with a client is no small matter. Maybe Hardy had this dispute because of the conflicting provisions present in his disclosures which I’ve shared below:
Putting Clients at Excessive Risk
Winburn Wealth Management charges performance-based fees, which is a very notorious practice in the finance industry. When your advisor follows this fee structure, they get paid only when they outperform a specific benchmark.
This fee structure incentivizes the advisor to employ high-risk strategies regardless of their suitability for the client. Research shows that advisors that charge performance-based fee tend to pursue high-risk strategies unnecessarily, which yields poor results for their clients.
High-risk strategies are particularly dangerous in slow and volatile markets as they can wipe out a significant chunk of your invested capital.
What’s worse is if you lose your investment or suffer major losses, you can’t do anything about it.
Charging 12b-1 Fees
Winburn Wealth Management offers investments that charge 12b-1 fees. The 12b-1 fee is a marketing fee which generally goes in the pocket of the advisor. This fee increases the cost of your investment but offers no benefits for the same.
SEC had conducted a study to compare the returns of mutual funds that charge 12b-1 fee and those that don’t to see if there’s any difference. They found that mutual funds that charge 12b-1 fee deliver poorer results because there’s no difference in the returns but theri price is higher.
It’s best to avoid financial advisors that charge this fee to stay safe.
Hardy Winburn and his firm earn a lot of revenue from commissions. They earn these commissions from the sale of certain investments. Commission-based earning introduces multiple conflicts of interest as the advisor gets incentive for preferring certain investments over others.
Cross-selling of commission products, misrepresentation, unsuitable recommendations are some of the many issues that may arise due to this pay structure. It’s best practice to avoid such financial advisors and focus on others.
This is a big reason why it’s very difficult to trust Winburn Wealth Management.
Selling Proprietary Products and Insurance
Winburn Wealth Management is a part of UBS Financial Services LLC, one of the largest banks in the world. UBS has a lot of proprietary investments and insurance products selling which, these advisors can earn lucrative commissions.
Proprietary products tend to offer significantly higher commissions than others. This restricts the amount and variety of investments a financial advisor would suggest to his clients.
Being an insurance broker makes things more complicated as the advisor may insure you excessively to make an extra buck. UBS has a terrible reputation among its clients because of how its advisors tend to ignore their client’s interests when suggesting proprietary investments.
This is another reason why you can’t rely on Winburn Wealth Management for your financial future.
From selling commission-generating products to having incentive to put you at risk, Winburn Wealth Management has many issues you can’t ignore. Many consumers start working with a financial advisor without finding out about these issues.
Luckily, you know what to expect and all the signs suggest that it would be best to avoid Winburn and his firm.
The Winburn Wealth Management Group has a history of legal disputes and its provisions make it extremely difficult to trust them with anything. They have designed a trap and you should stay miles away from it.
- $600,000 dispute with a client
- Commission-based Earning
- Selling proprietary investments