Ken Moore, Founder & Confusopoly Translator,
Investors give their hard earned wealth to unscrupulous salesmen, posing as “financial advisors,” every day. That’s literally why Ken started this company. Ken is dedicated to unpacking the confusion investors face from the financial services confusopoly. The financial services industry is a confusopoly because firms make money at their clients’ expense.
Because he could not abide the confusion his clients faced at Merrill Lynch due to conflicts of interest and confusing and proprietary products like annuities, he left in 2004 to found Global View.
The professional development program at Merrill Lynch gave Ken deep insight into how salesmen take advantage of investors. But there was much more to learn.
The team we have now was formed in short order. Joey Hines joined Ken within months, providing the hard work ethic, focus and discipline to make sure clients’ needs are addressed appropriately. Shortly thereafter Adam Wiles joined, focusing on developing relationships with tax attorneys and accountants
As the team specialized, Ken increasingly focused on the drivers of investment return, and problems causing ordinary people to leave nearly half of their potential returns on the table for professionals like the big banks and insurance companies to pick up.
The easiest piece of the confusopoly to explain is commissions. Advisors earn commissions from the sale of insurance of securities because the buyers are not aware of the cost and downsides of these products.
Getting rid of commissions was easy. We formed the investment advisory firm Global view in 2007 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and got rid of our securities licenses. We got rid of insurance licenses shortly after.
Beginning in 2008 we began educating professionals on the merits of fee-only vs. fee-based “advice.” A study in 2015 by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors found conflicted advice costs investors over 1% a year in returns. The US Department of Labor passed a rule prohibiting conflicted advice in IRA and retirement plans to begin in April of 2017. President Trump reviewed the rule and passed it in June of 2017.
If you work with an advisor who is “fee-based” it means your advisor has a potential conflict of interest and may be able to profit at your expense.
His win. Your loss.
The financial services industry is the best example of a confusopoly, a term coined by Scott Adams (Dilbert cartoonist and author) because not only can companies profit by keeping investors confused but they can literally profit at their expense! For example, at Merrill Lynch we had to explain the confusing term “fees in lieu of commissions.” Clients thought they were paying fees, for advice. But legally they were still paying commissions, for “suitable recommendations.” Confusing, huh? But this is only the tip of the conflicts of interest iceberg. Believe me, because I can prove it.
As a trained linguist, Ken’s key role is to translate this confusopoly for investors, so they can understand, transparently, what they get for what they pay.
Terms like commissions, revenue sharing, pay to play, incentive bonuses and much more all require unpacking and explanation!
Ken educates professionals and investors on conflicts of interest and instructs them how to navigate the financial services confusopoly. Armed with this knowledge investors can make a reasoned choice on chosing an advisor in a one-off or ongoing relationship.
He is an alumnus of James University and the #1 ranked University of South Carolina’s Master of International Business Program, where he was awarded a fellowship. He served as a Russian Linguist in the USAF.
Because Ken has gained first hand experience overseas working in the major global financial centers of New York, London, Frankfurt, and Moscow, he has firsthand global experience. His greatest accomplishment as a young man, working closely with Bain & Company, was to privatize a Chocolate Factory in Ukraine. In that role he had to teach suspicious Ukrainians to trust an outside investor that the arrangement was a win/win. This saved thousands of jobs and resulted in a thriving business.
Ken learned to analyze companies in the United States, Europe, and Asia while working for Roland Berger and Partner and AIG. He speaks Russian, German and some Italian (albeit poorly according to his daughter who is fluent).
Ken’s role as Chief Investment Officer means he helps investors understand and navigate the risk they are likely to confront. Ken finds investments and is the Portfolio Manager of the Great Businesses stock portfolio. His foremost goal is to avoid losing money that can’t be made back. He knows, like Warren Buffett and his global compatriot, Jean-Marie Eveillard, that returns come from sound fundamentals including valuation, quality, and the ability of a company to consistently earn a high return on invested capital.
Ken has been writing about investment strategy for over 15 years and was recently published in Money Magazine: The Case for Going Global with Your Money
More recent efforts have been devoted to the science of persuasion, to help investors better reach their return potential by reducing the investor return gap (where retail investors often only receive ½ of the return of the investments they own). Morningstar, Vanguard, and other firms agree this alone is often worth the cost of a financial advisor.
When not working, Ken enjoys spending time with his family, travelling, and trying to beat aging by being active physically. Ken finished Ironman Arizona in 2013 and enjoys endurance sports, especially cycling. He takes pleasure watching his daughter develop at College of Charleston and his son develop as a road cyclist.