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Advice/Feedback on Blackriver Financial LLC
Old 10-21-2015, 04:14 PM   #1
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Advice/Feedback on Blackriver Financial LLC

Hi all,
I am looking for some feedback/advise on Blackriver Financial LLC - Mark Harwanko is the President of this Independent financial firm specializing in retirement/wealth management. They are in Bedminister, New Jersey.
There details are below

Home | Black River Financial, LLC
Contact | Black River Financial, LLC

Would greatly appreciate your feedback/advise if any of you have worked/working as clients advised/managed by this firm. I was not sure If I can ask such direct feedback/advise on this forum on a specific firm so moderators apologies if that is not the case. Also if you want to direct (private) message me on your feedback that is fine too.

Thanks again for your time and best regards
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Old 10-21-2015, 11:15 PM   #2
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You probably won't get much feedback because most folks on hear are DIY and hate the idea of paying financial advisors. What are their fees?
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Old 10-22-2015, 05:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhurhurun View Post
Hi all,
I am looking for some feedback/advise on Blackriver Financial LLC - Mark Harwanko is the President
The top item on his resume is branch manager for Ameriprise, so I suspect he knows how to present his service with a smile. Whether that service is worthwhile is an open question.
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Old 10-22-2015, 07:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhurhurun View Post
Hi all,
I am looking for some feedback/advise on Blackriver Financial LLC - Mark Harwanko is the President of this Independent financial firm specializing in retirement/wealth management. They are in Bedminister, New Jersey. . . .

Would greatly appreciate your feedback/advise if any of you have worked/working as clients advised/managed by this firm.
What are their sources of compensation and what is their fee schedule? The answers to those questions will give you a >lot< of information about whether they are worth doing business with-- it's easy to eliminate 90% of the "bad apples" that way. I poked around their web site briefly and didn't see specifics.
Ideally, you want to pay them by the hour and you want to have it in writing that they receive no compensation of any sort from the funds or products they recommend. That's the only way you can know they are working for you and you alone. After that, we can discuss investing philosophy and take a look at their recommendations.
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Old 10-22-2015, 08:18 AM   #5
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I have no direct experience with the individual or firm. You can search for SEC Investment Adviser Public Disclosure info...both individuals and firms...at this site

IAPD - Investment Adviser Search

Looks like the firm owner is a broker as well as an adviser and works for 2 other firms; IC Advisory Services and The Investment Center. According to the disclosures, commissions on insurance and investment products are a source of his compensation. The IC Advisory Services disclosure mentions fees ranging between 0.5% and 2.0%. Like others have mentioned, I recommend you look for persons and/or firms that act as Fiduciaries and are solely fee-based.
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Old 10-22-2015, 09:16 AM   #6
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Ask them if they will apply a Fiduciary Standard to managing your money and put that into writing (ie the singed contract).

If they do this, then they are legally obligated to put your financial interests ahead of their own. The vast majority of them will not do this and will tell you that a Suitability Standard or some other lesser threshold is good enough. You should be able to infer how the results will play out.

If I were to outsource and pay someone to manage my money, I would certainly want the provider to be legally obligated to put my financial interests ahead of their own (ie Fiduciary Standard).

Can't understand why anyone would do it any other way once they know this distinction.

I think Financial Advisers are very skilled at selling "peace of mind" but it may come at a very large cost and in the end, may not be there at all.

Here is an article further detailing the various standards: http://www.investopedia.com/articles...-standards.asp

-gauss
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Old 10-22-2015, 09:34 AM   #7
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They are clearly in the business of selling fee-laden variable annuities. That alone is enough to send me running for the hills.
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