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Welcome to LeConte Wealth Management.

We are an independent financial firm that has been helping the good people of East Tennessee establish and maintain their long-term financial goals since 2007.

If you’re a current client, you’ll find links to access your account, make appointments with us, get up-to-date information about the stock markets, and view useful resources that can help empower you to be a more knowledgeable investor (the kind we like!).

If you’re not currently acquainted with our firm, we’ve established this Web site as a way for you to get to know us and understand how we can help you get to that point where you don’t have to worry about whether your money is doing right by you.

Join us on our blog, Financial Friction for our take on investment and economic topics written from our independent, plain spoken perspective.


This is How We Help Clients

The Role of Your Financial Advisor

  • The Evolution of Advice

    During the past twenty years, things have changed in the world of financial services. Investors have shifted away from relying on stock brokers to make their investment decisions. Though equity and insurance brokers certainly provided access to a variety of great products, they were salesmen looking for commissions on trades and offering advice only secondarily. The client who needed advice regarding taxation, for instance, had to consult a CPA. And, when somebody needed help planning for retirement, many stockbrokers struggled to assist.
    As investment products have become increasingly complex and investor needs have expanded, clients have turned from brokers to financial professionals. Individuals who used to pay for products and get guidance for free now pay for guidance while still getting best-of-class products. Because we believe that the trend toward guidance conforms to our client-first philosophy, we offer ourselves to you as wealth consultants.

  • Re-Defining Wealth Management

    Wealth management is about replacing products with process. Instead of picking the hottest stocks, we rely on a strict investment methodology to ensure that our clients’ portfolios are aligned with their best interests. Instead of trying to sell a particular product, we assess your personal goals and needs before considering what sort of investment might be appropriate. Instead of turning you away when you ask us to develop a plan, we embrace you. Wealth management is a process driven strategy that provides total professional services.

  • Independence

    Independence lies at the core of wealth management. With no obligation to sell a particular product, we suggest the best suited product. Knowing that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to personal finance, we strive to find the proper solutions for you. Our services range from coordinating an estate plan to managing investment risk, from income distribution planning, to business succession planning. We have partnered with accountants and attorneys to provide solutions to all of your financial needs, and we promote our clients, not a product.
    As a process driven, independent wealth manager, we seek to provide invaluable financial guidance to high net worth individuals with complex planning needs. Our goal is to help you achieve your goals. Our strategy is wealth management.

The Easter Bunny and the Fiduciary Standard

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My two-year old daughter was thrilled when she woke up on Easter morning to find out that the Easter Bunny had visited our house.  She’s enjoyed the new toys and dress up clothes that were left in her basket.  She doesn’t realize that those gifts actually came from her parents via Target and, not from Peter Cottontail.

It’s the same feeling for many investors who think they are getting advice with their best interests in mind, when they are actually being sold a product by a salesman.   Those advisers that are held to a fiduciary standard( which means acting in the client’s best interest and avoiding any activity that can present a conflict of interest) is much different than the majority of investment brokers and agents that are only held by a suitability standard.  As Carl Richards writes in his blog explaining the differences between advisers and salespeople,

“We would never expect a Toyota salesperson to send us to the Honda dealership if a Honda were better for our family.  We know when we walk into the dealership that they are going to try and sell us a Toyota, and we’re prepared to protect our own interests.”

From Carl Richards Bucks Blog @ NYT

Unfortunately, too many investors falsely believe that they are getting that same level of advice from their broker.  More options exist now for investors than ever before.  There are numerous advisory firms, such as LeConte Wealth Management, that are able to provide fiduciary, fee-only advice to clients in the areas of asset management, financial planning and retirement plan consulting. The rules may not yet be changing for individual investment advice, but retirement plan sponsors are seeing sweeping fiduciary changes in 2012.  Substantial regulatory changes later this year will require brokers to clearly state the fees that they charge for their services to plan providers and disclose whether or not they are acting as a fiduciary to those plans.   This has potential to transform the retirement plan industry and has already forced many insurance and mutual fund companies to get out of the business rather than face higher standards.

After the market dives and massive losses in 2008, there is a push in Washington and on Main Street for independent, fiduciary counsel to help investors meet their individual goals.  Perhaps this spring, as the flowers bloom and the days grow longer, it may be time to look for advice from someone that puts your goals and objectives first.  That exercise may cause you to stop believing in the Easter Bunny.


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