The Fiduciary Difference: Why Your Financial Advisor's Role Matters
Before diving into the fiduciary financial advisors world, it's essential to address a common issue: choosing an advisor based on personal relationships. We all know someone, whether it's a neighborhood kid who grew up next door, a family member, or a good friend who becomes a financial advisor. It's easy to feel obligated to entrust them with your financial future simply because of your connection. However, it's crucial to remember that you're potentially putting your entire nest egg or retirement savings in their hands. So, select an advisor based on their skills, experience, and approach rather than just your connection.
Not all financial advisors are created equal! While most wear suits and talk about money, it's essential to understand that different types of advisors have different responsibilities. Today, we will explore the world of fiduciary financial advisors and why they can be an excellent choice for helping you reach your financial goals. And don't worry; we'll keep it simple and fun.
Why a Fiduciary Advisor Matters:
A fiduciary is like your financial superhero. Unlike other advisors who might be tempted to recommend investments that earn them a big commission, fiduciaries are dedicated to finding the best options for you. They have an extraordinary power called "fiduciary duty," which means they must always put your best interests first.
Fiduciary Duty vs. Suitability Standard:
In the wonderful world of financial advice, there are two primary standards: fiduciary duty and suitability standard. As discussed, fiduciary duty requires advisors to act in your best interest. On the other hand, the suitability standard only requires advisors to recommend investments that are suitable for your situation, even if they might not be the best choice for you. The main difference is that fiduciary advisors have a higher level of responsibility, ensuring your interests come first, while suitable advisors can recommend options that benefit them more if they're still suitable for you.
Finding the Right Fiduciary Advisor:
Now that you know why fiduciary advisors are so great, you might wonder how to find one. Here are some tips:
Know your goals: Before you start looking, think about what you want to achieve with your money.
Interview a few: Talk to several advisors to find the right fit.
Check their background: Ensure they're legit and you understand what is in their record.
Keep in touch: Stay connected with your advisor to make sure you're always on track.
This article is meant to be a general overview, not a one-stop shop, for understanding the different types of financial advisors. Our goal is to help you build a foundation of knowledge and provide information that either adds to what you already know or introduces new concepts. It's important to remember that every advisor is different, regardless of their designations or fancy titles. Some advisors find importance in being a fiduciary, while others see value in only sticking with investments that are suitable.
Remember, not all financial advisors are the same, and choosing the best advisor for you can make a significant difference in your financial journey. You can verify if an advisor is a fiduciary by checking their registration with regulatory agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or state securities regulators. To check an advisor's history and any complaints or legal problems, you can use resources like FINRA's BrokerCheck (https://brokercheck.finra.org/) or the SEC's Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) database (https://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/).
Keep in mind that there are great advisors who may not be fiduciaries and less than stellar advisors who are fiduciaries. The aim of this article is to help you be more informed and provide you with the knowledge to make a better choice when choosing a financial advisor. Armed with this knowledge, you'll be better prepared to find the right advisor to help you reach your goals and keep your best interests at heart. Happy investing!
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.
Article written by: Anthony Owens
Copyright © 2023 Anthony Owens @ Thriving Wealth Hub.
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