Bryan Binkholder and Blue Ocean Portfolios have been announced as proud winners of the ‘5 Star Wealth Manager Award’ and were featured in St. Louis Magazine in the Month of March 2010. Unfortunately, this entire award is a scam designed to help Financial Salespeople win the trust and admiration of consumers. I was contacted by the company that does the ‘research’ and I audio taped all the conversations as they described how they selected winners. Based on the information given, I knew that it was statistically IMPOSSIBLE for somebody to have nominated me. Armed with my presumed beliefs, I contacted my clients inquiring of each if they had nominated me. As much as I was hoping that statistically maybe I was the 1 in 2 million, I found that no one had even received a nomination card (from what they could recall). When I asked the company for a copy of the nominations they received “from my clients”, they of course could “not release that information” to me. This company–Crescendo Marketing– conveniently has a ‘3rd Party’ that does the ‘research’ so it is extremely hands-off. Most likely this is done to protect them legally if and when someone like myself calls them on the carpet.
In order to show consumers the full extent of the scams that flood the investing industry (and to avoid accusations that I was suggesting it was a scam “only because I didn’t win”) I purposely accepted the award (see the PDF copy of the magazine). And for only a few thousand dollars I can tell the world that I’m a “5 Star Wealth Manager” award winner! (*see attachments below)
Always be aware of marketing awards, marketing materials or anything else that announces a firm or individual is ‘The Top of The Top!’ These ploys are common when it comes to trying to set yourself above others and provide a 3rd Party that says…. “Hey, this guy is good.” Notice on the St. Louis Magazine site they also do this for Realtors and Mortgage people. Notice there aren’t any 5 Star Awards for Attorneys? The reason is that attorneys must abide by a higher code of ethics that prevents them from being involved in a sham such as this one.
My comment and thought to ponder is this–If an advisor is spending $5,000 to $10,000 on this award to market it, they are either obviously doing it to ‘DUPE’ a consumer or they are so blind that they can’t see how much of an obvious scam this is to the industry and the consumer.
In either case, WHY WOULD YOU WANT THEM HANDLING YOUR MONEY???????
*Check out the attached ‘order form’ to see the options advisors/salespeople have to “show your expertise and service.” Remember, tell others and let them know that this is a 5 Star Scam!
More about this on the Video Below: