You Deserve a Fiduciary
Who can you trust to give you the best possible financial advice? Interestingly, during times of personal crisis such as job loss, divorce or death of a spouse, the vast majority of Americans turn to family and friends rather than financial advisors, according to a recent survey from AARP Financial.
I understand that impulse. It is natural to turn to those you know care most about you in your time of need. However, as is the case when you require medical care or legal advice, or even home maintenance, it is crucial to work with someone who is well-informed in addition to being well intentioned. Ironically, although the combination of expertise and care is especially necessary for your finances, it can be exceedingly difficult to find. That is, of course, unless your financial advisor is a fiduciary who is bound to put your needs and interests first, in all cases.
You might assume that all “financial advisors,” like attorneys and CPAs, have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their clients. That is not the case. When I meet with prospective clients, they are surprised to learn that there are professional financial advisors who practice at a lower standard.
In fact, federal and state law holds only Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) to a Fiduciary Standard that requires those advisors to act solely in the best interest of the client, even if that interest is in conflict with the advisor’s own financial interest. Further, RIAs must disclose any conflict, or potential conflict, to the client prior to and throughout a business engagement, as well as adopt a Code of Ethics and fully disclose how they are compensated.
Bernhardt Wealth Management is a Registered Investment Advisor and my team and I are proud to call ourselves fiduciaries. Investors should accept nothing less from advisors managing their money.
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