It seems like every broker or adviser claims to offer the same level of service, access to products and standard of care — leaving clients wondering how best to get the help they need. We want to change that paradigm and pull back the curtain to show you how we run our business, charge our clients and deliver value for the services we provide. To do this, it takes a little effort on your part to better understand how our industry works, and it takes a little gumption on our part to be fully transparent.
We think there are four areas you need to dig a little deeper into so that you can make a more informed decision about how financial advisers can really put your interests first:
- The difference in the standard of care between brokers and advisers: suitability vs. fiduciary
- The difference between commissions and fee-based or fee-only services
- Regulatory disclosures by brokers and advisers and where to read the fine print
- How brokers and advisers get paid (and the ways some advisers choose NOT to get paid)
We explore each of these topics in more detail in our "Advisory Fee Transparency" paper that you can download. The potential for conflicts of interest arise in almost every business arrangement. This is why all businesses have legal contracts, agreements, memos of understanding, etc. That said, you shouldn’t need a lawyer to help you figure out which financial adviser puts your interests first.