avoid wall street corruptionWall Street firms are notorious for the greed and corruption that almost destroyed the U.S. economy, put millions of Americans out of work, and cost investors trillions of dollars. Notwithstanding this recent destruction, it is currently as successful as ever. That’s because investors need investment advice and services. They do not know there is an alternative that will dramatically reduce risk and expense when they invest their assets in the securities markets.

In a sick sort of way you have to admire the executives who run these firms. They are Mafia Dons in pinstripe suits. But, the real Mafia Dons can only wish they had Wall Street’s clout. These Dons send hundreds of millions of lobbyist dollars per year to Washington to buy protection for their nefarious schemes to rip-off Americans. When was the last time you saw a Wall Street Don go to jail?

The politicians allow the Dons’ companies to pay fines without admitting guilt. Only executives of major special interest groups (Wall Street, Tobacco, Pharmaceutical) have bought this level of protection from equally corrupt politicians who are supposed to protect the American public. The Dons’ money keeps politicians in power.

Bad products, like toxic mortgage pools, are bad enough. But, now it appears the Dons are using insider trading to rob individual investors. Al Lewis’ recent article titled “The Fixers From D.C.” describes a recent form of collusion between Washington politicians and the Wall Street Dons that has a direct impact on the fairness of the markets.

You might ask, with all of Wall Street’s resources and supposed expertise, why does it have to rip-off investors to grow its profits? Or, is it really a massive marketing machine that relies on slick sales tactics and personable advisors to sell you expensive products that deliver mediocre results?

There is one more question. Is there an alternative that reduces your exposure to risk, corruption, and deceptive sales tactics? Is there a better way? The answer is yes and you may not know it exists.

First, you can move your assets to an independent financial advisory firm that is not owned or controlled by a big financial services firm. This includes big banks and insurance companies that have paid billions of dollars of fines for cheating investors. Move your assets to a smaller independent firm that is a financial fiduciary that is held to the highest ethical standards in the industry. This type of firm is compensated with fees for its knowledge, advice, and services. It does not sell proprietary products for commission and it has not paid major fines for cheating investors.

Second, start investing in “match market performance” index ETFs and index funds that are managed by iShares and Vanguard. Stop paying Wall Street’s exorbitant fees for “superior” investment products that are supposed to “beat the performance” of the securities markets.

20% of actively managed funds beat the market each year, but it is not the same funds year after year. And, who has a crystal ball that accurately predicts which funds will produce superior returns in the future? Beat the market is a Wall Street sales pitch that is designed to justify excessive fees and big commissions. If they really delivered superior returns, it would not have to rip-off investors to maximize company revenues and executive bonuses.

Yes, there is an alternative to Wall Street.  Are you ready to take charge?