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Wall Street Is Stealing Your Money Says ‘Uninvested’ Author Monks

8/04/15 2:26 PM EDT
Wall Street is systematically fleecing millions of Americans and that includes the major mutual fund companies and ETF providers, said Bobby Monks, author of 'Uninvested'. 'Almost 90% of financial advisors do not have to put the interest of the client first,' said Monks. 'The fees are often high, undisclosed and layered. And it’s the only business I know where you get paid whether you make somebody money or not.' Monks served as the chairman of Spinnaker Trust, managing over $1 billion in assets. He was also chairman of proxy services provider Institutional Shareholder Services and the founder of Atlantic Bank. While most Americans use mutual funds to save for retirement and fees are coming down, Monks said expense ratios remain stubbornly high and the companies still do not report a lot of expenses like trading costs. 'They are supposed to be very simple instruments, and I don’t know if you have ever read a prospectus for a mutual fund, but I would not recommend it,' said Monks. 'They are supposed to be written in plain English but often they obscure what the fees are and what the conflicts of interest are by using difficult language to read.' Monks said the problem with low-cost index funds is that they enable irresponsible corporate behavior by not wielding their power over a company when a major issue comes up for a vote like executive pay. In his view, this is one of the factors driving the widening inequality in the country between CEOs and employees.
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