Based on our research as of March 2024, there are a number of brokerage firms named "Oakwood" operating. While we give insight on a few of them here, you're advised to do your own due diligence and to thoroughly research any broker named "Oakwood" that you're considering doing business with.
Scams / Trading Expert / Financial Analyser
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the industry that we work in, bad actors and scammers are everywhere looking to make a quick buck. Sometimes this has further-reaching consequences than the pain they dish out to their victims - sometimes, legitimate firms that share the same name as these fake brokerages get caught in the crossfire.
Additionally, fake brokerages with similar names to legitimate ones can tarnish the reputation of legitimate services by claiming to be them - and with a similar name and similar looking website, it’s not hard for investors to be fooled and duped out of large sums of money.
While there may be a number of brokerages out there called “Oakwood”, and you may have even been scammed by one, it’s important to understand exactly who you’re dealing with. We’ve had several people contact us and ask whether a company named “Oakwood” is a scam, and the truth is it’s almost impossible to answer this without detailed information about the company and who is running it so that we can perform checks. So, is Oakwood Financial legit? Let’s find out.
Is Oakwood Financial Legitimate?
- All of the firms named "Oakwood Financial" we list in this article are legitimate and are registered as having a licence to operate by FINRA.
- We have NOT covered every business named "Oakwood" and it's entirely possible you've been approached by someone not on the below list who is a scammer. Do your due diligence.
- If you're still unsure, use one of our recommended brokers - that way, you know you're dealing with a legitimate company.
Which Oakwood are we talking about?
In our research, we saw that there were quite a few businesses called “Oakwood Financial Services”. There are lots of reviews online that make some companies called “Oakwood” out to be scams - but the truth is not so black and white.
We found three prominent financial advisories called “Oakwood” and none of them appear to be scams - all are registered with FINRA and all appear to be doing business completely legally and legitimately. It’s possible there may have been a broker scam using the name “Oakwood” at some point, but it does not appear that they are around any more.
We run through exactly how we arrived at the conclusion that these are legitimate entities below. Note - nothing in this article constitutes a recommendation - we’ve done no business with any of these firms.
OakWood Financial Services/Commonwealth Financial Network
The first OakWood Financial Services we came across appears to be a private financial advisor based in Rochester, New York. They offer a range of services to their clients including wealth management, tax planning and estate planning.
We performed a broker check with FINRA (which we would advise you to do for any company that is claiming to be able to manage your money for you.) We were able to locate the senior financial advisor and CEO of this company who is registered at the same address in Rochester, New York.
It appears that OakWood is a trading name, as this name is not registered with FINRA. The business you will actually be transacting with is called Commonwealth Financial Network, which is registered as a broker with FINRA. We were also able to verify that the people running this business are genuine investment advisors, with a number of years of experience across a lot of different firms.
With this in mind, this particular “OakWood” we would consider to be a legitimate company. Our determination, however, does not mean that you do not need to do your due diligence when transacting with them - the onus is on you to ensure you are putting your money somewhere safe.
Oakwood Financial Network LLC
The second “Oakwood” we found is a financial services company based in Michigan. They offer investment planning and management - stocks, bonds, mutual funds, brokerage accounts as well as IRAs and annuities, as well as retirement planning and life insurance plans.
We again performed a FINRA check against this company and it appears to be part of the initial company we found, Commonwealth Financial Network. Our determination remains that this is a legitimate company. While this particular “Oakwood” is run by different individuals, we also performed a broker check on the CEO and chief financial advisor and found a rich history of successful positions at a number of United States brokerage and financial planning firms.
Again - Oakwood appears to be the trading name, and the real business you will be transacting with is under a different name. All appears to be above board here and if you are planning to do business with Oakwood Financial Network LLC in Michigan, you should be aware that this is a legitimate company.
Oakwood Financial Group Inc
This is another Oakwood we found, and is a financial services advisory based in North Carolina. They again offer a number of different services including investment management, retirement planning and insurance and annuity products.
We performed a FINRA check and were able to locate the senior financial advisor as well as the company that uses “Oakwood” as a trading name, and both appear to be legitimate and licensed to give financial advice. Therefore, this Oakwood is also a legitimate company.
Other “Oakwood Financial Services”?
While we’ve covered several different brokers here, it’s entirely possible that none of these are the “Oakwood” that you’re looking for. It’s possible that another brokerage has opened up since we wrote this article - they may be legitimate and they may be a scam. An important part of learning to trade is learning how to protect your money by spotting fraudulent brokers.
Here are four tips you can use to make sure that you’re dealing with someone legitimate. If in doubt, simply don’t do business with them - there are more than enough brokerage firms available for you - some whereby you trade yourself and some whereby they will trade for you.
Avoid anyone cold-calling or cold-emailing you
While there may be legitimate firms that market in this way, there are also a lot of illegitimate firms that use cold outreach to find people to scam. One only needs to cast your mind back several years to the wild west of binary options trading, where unscrupulous brokers based overseas would use social media, cold email and cold-calling to acquire clients. Often these contacts had been purchased from other brokers or people brokering data that had come from the online casino/gambling industry, and lots of individuals were taken for millions of dollars.
If you’re looking for brokerage reviews, find the broker yourself. Look at multiple objective sources (such as this site, the Better Business Bureau, other consumer review sites, etc) before making a decision. Don’t just do business with anyone calling you out of the blue - it’s probably a scam.
Talk to the brokerage over the phone
When you’re looking for a broker you need to be able to be comfortable with the people who will be advising you, or in the case of an online forex broker you need to ensure the customer service is up to scratch. If you’re assigned an account manager, make sure they’re easy to get hold of. Make sure you can actually have a conversation with them longer than a few minutes - if they’re eager to get off the phone with you or they’re giving you vague answers, walk away.
Also, don’t forget to ask about rates, commissions and fees. Any good broker should be up-front about this. If they start talking to you about bonuses, while some legitimate brokers do offer bonuses if you deposit a certain amount, you must tread very carefully.
Verify FINRA/SIPC/FCA/BaFIN membership
Depending on where the broker is based, you should be looking to see whether they’re regulated with the local regulator. In the UK this is the FCA, in Germany this is BaFIN and in the US it’s the SEC or the CFTC. There may be individual state regulators in the US that you should also confirm the legitimacy of any firm you’re planning to do business with. Additionally you should check that the broker is a member of the SIPC (which protects you for up to $500k cash if your broker goes out of business).
If you think the regulation of a particular firm is sketchy, just walk away. It’s not worth doing business with someone who isn’t regulated as you’ll have nowhere to turn (other than initiating a very expensive and time consuming lawsuit) if they decide to walk away with your money.
If you’re not happy, pull out and complain
There’s one thing you should always keep in mind - your broker is working for you and not the other way around. If they start to mess you around; if you’re trading on MT4 and you notice your prices are off, or if you’re struggling to get your money out, or if you’re having difficulty communicating with the broker - simply walk away and go to someone else. There are more than enough brokers online - give your money to those that don’t play games.
Our research methodology
We've been in the industry a long time and we've got a pretty good idea on what makes a scam brokerage firm. As such, we scour the internet looking for genuine trader experiences in the first instance. Often, this is enough to tell us that the broker is a scam - if all experiences are negative, or if there are suspiciously highly-rated reviews from affiliates, that's an indication that we may be dealing with a fraudulent broker. We also like to test the broker ourselves - we deposit with the broker when we can and test that we can get our own money out. We don't tell the broker we're from MobyTrader - we use an account that has no link to this website whatsoever. If we experience problems, we test out their customer support. Unfortunately, if we struggle to get our money out or we're given the run-around, that's an indication that you'll experience the same thing. This is how we arrive at a scam verdict.