What Is A Fiduciary And Why Is It Important?

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By Brett Gottlieb and John Mc Kean

You don’t want to take chances with your money. But unfortunately, that’s exactly what could happen if you work with a financial advisor who doesn’t have your best interests in mind. Conflicts of interest can occur in the financial industry, and what’s best for you might not be what’s best for your advisor. This means you could be pushed into investments that make your advisors the most money, even if they aren’t the right fit for you.

How do you find someone you can entrust your money with who will deal with you honestly and help you achieve your goals? Thankfully, there is someone in the financial planning and advisory world that will, first and foremost, put your interests ahead of their own—and that person is a financial advisor who is held to the fiduciary standard.

What Is A Fiduciary?

In general terms, a fiduciary is a person or entity who has the power to act for another in situations that require complete trust. When it comes to the financial industry, investment advisers and CFP’s are held to this duty in the investment advice they provide their clients. By law, a fiduciary advisor must be completely transparent and always act in their client’s best interest. This means they are obligated to avoid conflicts of interest and cannot use a client’s assets for their personal benefit without client consent. However, if a conflict of interest does occur, they are required to disclose it to their clients.

Additionally, the ongoing services and investment monitoring they provide also falls under the fiduciary duty. In other words, their job doesn’t end after the initial meeting or purchase. They must regularly review your accounts to help ensure your investments are in your best interest.

There are financial professionals whose services do not fall under the fiduciary standard.  This doesn’t mean that they are out to steal your money and can never be trusted—far from it. These financial professionals are held to the suitability standard. This means that the products and services that are being offered are suitable to the client based on the needs and objectives of the client. 

Why Should I Work With A Fiduciary?

There are several benefits to working with an advisor who serves in a fiduciary capacity. For one, they are open and transparent. Aside from the obvious goal of maximizing value for your money, working with a fiduciary will give you confidence that your advisor is working with your best interests in mind rather than their own. 

By working with an advisor who is bound to the fiduciary standard, you can feel empowered that the investment advice you receive for yourself and your finances is in your best interest. Clients have the power to ask questions and to demand the highest value for the service that advisors are providing. As a firm in the financial world, we understand people’s reservations or even negative connotations toward the underlying motivations of some advisors. We want to assure you that you can trust in the fact that our relationship with you is built on integrity.

How To Find A Fiduciary

So you’ve decided that a fiduciary is right for you. Now you just need to find one. It’s important to thoroughly research an advisor before choosing to work with him or her. An advisor should be open to sharing their business philosophy, how they choose investments, what their process looks like, any potential conflicts of interest they face, and how they’re paid.

At Comprehensive Advisor, we are fiduciary advisors who strive to work with the highest integrity. As an independent advisory firm, we recommend strategies to help you work toward your retirement goals without forcing your investments into a one-size-fits-all portfolio. If you’re unsure about your current financial strategies, haven’t reevaluated your investments in several years, or are just interested in learning more about what it means to work with a fiduciary, we’re happy to offer you a complimentary consultation. Email us at info@ComprehensiveAdvisor.com or call (760) 813-2125 to get started.

About Brett and John

Brett Gottlieb is the founder of Comprehensive Advisor and a financial advisor with nearly two decades of industry experience. He graduated from California State University-Chico with two bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Economics. Brett is Life Insurance licensed in several states.

John Mc Kean, financial advisor, joined Comprehensive Advisor in 2016. He has been in the financial services and retirement planning industry for over six years. John is Life Insurance licensed in California.

Brett and John previously worked as Registered Representatives with Securities America, one of the largest independent broker/dealers in the country, and currently offer advisory services through AE Wealth Management, LLC. Both are passionate about educating clients on retirement planning. They take a common-sense approach to the planning process and work with clients to create a retirement road map to help ensure their assets are protected and they receive the income needed to enjoy their future. Based in Carlsbad, California, they work with clients throughout San Diego County. Learn more by connecting with Brett on LinkedIn or email them at info@ComprehensiveAdvisor.com.

Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Comprehensive Advisor are not affiliated companies. California Insurance Licenses #0C68886 & #0K37445. Neither the firm nor its representatives may give tax or legal advice. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal.

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We are an independent financial services firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of investment and insurance products to custom suit their needs and objectives.

Investment Advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). Comprehensive Advisor and AEWM are not affiliated companies.

Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. None of the information contained on this website shall constitute an offer to sell or solicit any offer to buy a security or any insurance product.

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