Zamel Wealth Management Group (UBS) is a Fraud
Zamel Wealth Management Group is a prominent wealth advisory firm in Beverly Hills. However, it uses many unethical tactics to take away funds from its clients without their knowledge.
The firm doesn’t hesitate to use illicit tactics to increase its profits. Before you consider working with such an unethical firm, it’s vital that you understand the wrong things going on there.
The firm will always tell you about its accomplishments but they will never inform you of its shortcomings. That’s why I have written the following review. It will help you make a well-informed decision on working with the Zamel Wealth Management Group:
About the Zamel Wealth Management Group and Aric Zamel UBS
Zamel Wealth Management Group is a part of UBS Financial Services Inc. It’s a financial advisory firm situated in Beverly Hills, California. The address of their office is 131 S Rodeo Dr Suite 300, Beverly Hills, CA 90212, US and its contact number is 310-281-4613.
Aric Zamel is the managing director of this firm. Other notable people at this firm include Yevgeniy “Yev” Katkovsky, and Connor Wilhelm.
As a private wealth management firm, this firm offers investing guidance, retirement planning, and estate planning strategies as its primary services. They claim to serve business owners, multigenerational families and real estate investors.
The frim also claims to keep things easy for its clients while providing dedicated service. However, the fine print in their terms and conditions suggest otherwise. According to the disclosures of the Zamel Wealth Management Group, it’s a dangerous firm that uses predatory tactics to trap investors. More on this in the next section of my review.
Disputes and Shady Provisions of Zamel Wealth Management Group
Aric Zamel’s History of Misrepresentation
It’s crucial to check the background of a financial advisor before handing them your business. In the case of the Zamel Wealth Management Group, things don’t look so good as its managing director has faced multiple legal complaints from his clients.
To check if your advisor has faced any legal disputes in the past or not, you should look them up on FINRA BrokerCheck. This is a vast database where you can learn about your financial advisor’s experience, qualifications, the exams they have passed, and of course, the disputes they have faced.
Aric’s first dispute occurred on 9-15-2008 where the client alleged that the purchases of preferred stock were unsuitable in May 2008. They requested $62,420 in damages.
Aric denied the claim but he doesn’t give any reasons as to why denied the claim.
The second dispute occurred on 10-30-2008. Here, the client alleged misrepresentation with respect to structured product investments between January 2008 and June 2008. They didn’t specify the requested damages.
Like the previous claim, Aric Zamel denied this claim without citing any reasons.
Note that it’s quite common among shady financial advisors to deny or dismiss the claims of their clients when they file a dispute. That’s because they make you sign multiple waivers at the start of your professional relationship which grant them nearly immunity from most errors. In most cases, you can’t hold your advisor liable for giving you wrong advice or recommending you a poor strategy because you “understand all the risks”.
Another UBS advisory firm who used this tactic to get away with misrepresentation is Winburn Wealth Management. They were able to dismiss a $600,000 dispute thanks to this method .
Putting Clients at Excessive Risk
Apart from having questionable leadership, Zamel Wealth Management Group has the provision of charging performance-based fees. It’s a highly notorious practice in the finance industry because it incentivizes the advisor to use high-risk strategies.
High-risk strategies are unsuitable for most portfolio types but they are particularly harmful for low-risk portfolios. They are also particularly dangerous for portfolios looking for long-term growth and security.
Due to their high failure rate, high-risk strategies are known for wiping out significant chunks of the invested capital in down markets. The high incentive for employing high-risk strategies makes performance-based fee structure a nightmare for most investors.
Also, if you suffer any losses because of these strategies, you can’t hold your advisor responsible as we have discussed before. The advisor will claim that you understood all risks when they implemented the high-risk strategy.
Charging 12b-1 Fees
Not only does this firm put its clients at excessive risk by charging performance-based fees, it also charges them a redundant fee called the 12b-1 fees. This fee reflects no value as it’s a marketing fee companies pay to advisors for promoting their investment products.
Many people assume that just because an investment costs more, it would yield better returns. But that’s not the case with investments that charge 12b-1 fees.
It only inflates the cost of the investment.
The SEC had conducted a thorough study to compare the returns of the investments that charge 12b-1 fees and those that don’t. It found no difference between the two. Instead, it concluded that the ROI of the investments that charge this fee is worse because of the increased costs.
The terrible fee structure and the unreliable leadership make it extremely difficult to trust the Zamel Wealth management Group. Even though it has the brand name of UBS Financial Services attached to it, it doesn’t match up to the name.
The firm needs to improve a lot of things but most importantly, it needs to remove the shady provisions present in its disclosures. They are doing more harm than good and unless they vanish, you can’t trust the recommendations of these advisors.
For the time being, it would be best to look for alternatives because this firm has just too many issues to count.
Zamel Wealth Management Group is a terrible financial advisory firm with a horrible fee structure and unreliable leadership. You should look for a different advisor who truly cares about your financial growth instead of these guys.
- Faced multiple legal disputes
- Put clients at excessive risk
- Unethical business practices