Frisco author blows whistle on Wall Street brokerages
February 1, 2008
FRISCO Frisco Town Councilmember Bruce Fleet is a former senior vice president for the Wall Street firm UBS Financial Services. Over the years he has enjoyed extravagant luxury vacations and generally lived well on a lifestyle created by a joke in the industry Mother Merrill.Firms like Merrill Lynch, UBS, Citi-Group/Smith Barney, Edward Jones, Wachovia Securities and Morgan Stanley are considered Wall Street firms, the topic of Fleets new book, DeMystifying Wall Street: Shedding A Little Light on the Bull!Fleet left Wall Street in 2005 and now is a Registered Investment Advisor out of his Fleet Capital Management office in Frisco.20 years with Wall Street firms I never had an incentive for making clients money, but Ive been all over the world making money for the firm, Fleet said.He said he thinks many Wall Street brokers are blinded, or choose not to see, the unjust business model they work in because they are infatuated with their affluent lifestyles.Fleet falls into the trend of brokers who have been leaving Wall Street on moral grounds.In the mid-1980s, there was a drove to Wall Street firms, Fleet said. Two decades later, Im 48. Things change. You can take a more global look at life.He says now out of the system, he is ready to expose it.My goal is to create a national dialogue about how investors purchase investment advice. I think the business model of Wall Street firms is skewed against investors, Fleet said.Fleet cites brokers in Wall Street as not having to follow the same set of standards as advisors.Fleet, an RIA, has a fiduciary responsibility to do whats in the best interest of his client. Brokers are not in the same contractual agreement, he said.The authors other goals with the book are to eliminate commissions from the financial service industry altogether and to change the laws so all that render investment advice are held to the same standards.Fleet acknowledged that investors are also at fault.Investors spend more time researching a car or refrigerator than their life-savings, he said.In Chapter 12 of his book, The ABCs of Broker Titles, Fleet explains a once hot issue in Frisco, the question of his designation as a CFP, or Certified Financial Planner.A story by our newspaper after Fleet was appointed to the town council in October of 2007 said there was a record of regulatory action against him.In the book he writes about the incident, downplaying the significance of the titles and saying he basically didnt re-up his license which he only got to prove a point, so it was suspended. Fleet is pushing his book nationally now, hoping for invitations from cable financial networks like Fox Business or CNBC.Demystifying Wall Street is available at The Open Book and The Next Page, both in Frisco, and at Borders in Dillon. It is also available at online bookstores and http://www.brucefleetbooks.com.