Broker Check

The Fiduciary Standard

What is a 'Fiduciary'

Essentially, a fiduciary is a person or organization that owes to another the duties of good faith and trust. The highest legal duty of one party to another, it also involves being bound ethically to act in the other's best interests. A fiduciary might be responsible for general well-being, but often it involves finances – managing the assets of another person, or of a group of people, for example. Money managers, bankers, accountants, executors, board members, and corporate officers can all be considered fiduciaries. Source: Investopedia


We primarily work with clients in a fee-based, fiduciary relationship using an advisory account platform.  The benefits to this include:

Enhanced Service Model

On an ongoing basis, our asset-based fees are all-inclusive and compensate us for all of our planning, investment strategies and wealth management services.

Better alignment of interests

A fee-based relationship puts us both on the same side of the table. Because our interests are aligned, we can both be more comfortable that any transactions are independent and objective. You’ll know that our recommendations are in your best interest. You’ll also be able to clearly see how we're compensated.

More flexibility

This advisory account platform increases our flexibility so that we can do what’s necessary to help you pursue your goals and objectives, especially when the market is volatile. We’ll be able to use strategies that manage risk or take advantage of potential opportunities that present themselves. In addition, we’ll be able to select and monitor quality investments and/or investment managers on your behalf.

Stronger Client-Advisor relationship

A fee-based relationship gives us an opportunity to create and/or strengthen a solid client experience.  This will allow both of us to focus on working to achieve your financial objectives and goals.

More investment options

In brokerage accounts, we use one or two mutual fund companies, as it’s less expensive in a brokerage setup to trade within a single or few mutual fund family(ies). With the capabilities of the advisory account platform, we can access a broader set of investment opportunities. It will also be less costly to switch among mutual fund families.

Greater customization

In an advisory account, we can offer even more customized and sophisticated strategies for you.  We can also potentially hire an investment manager to provide customized tax optimization for your account. 

Fees in line with service

The fee-based, fiduciary relationship aligns our interests with yours. Our compensation only grows as your account value grows. We also have access to a full suite of capabilities to help you address your financial goals. Don’t look at the fee as just the cost of trading or investment management; the fee will also cover all other aspects of our relationship: ongoing planning, strategies, trading, rebalancing, manager due diligence, ongoing client service, administration, total wealth management services and all financial advice.

Greater standard of care

With our brokerage accounts, we simply have to ensure each transaction is suitable for you at the point in time it occurs. However, our responsibility increases in a fee-based account. We must make sure that each transaction, as well as your entire portfolio, is suitable for your financial goals and objectives on an ongoing basis. A fee-based setup broadens our horizon and helps us look at the bigger picture.


Which brings us to the new Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule

In April 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) released its final version of a rule that has come to be known as the fiduciary rule.”  It broadens the definition of fiduciary to include individuals and firms that provide advice to brokerage retirement accounts.  Many who previously operated under a suitability standard when serving retirement accounts will now be held to the more stringent fiduciary, or best interest, standard. We fully support the intent of the rule, which is putting our clients’ best interest front and center.

We will keep you updated as final interpretations, requirements and processes, such as the Best Interest Contract Exemption (the "BIC") for brokerage retirement accounts, are established and in put in place during 2017.


Let Us Serve Your Best Interests!

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