Who can you trust to provide you with reliable financial advice? If you are like most people, you assume that the people who provide financial advice are required to act in your best interest. Unfortunately, that’s only true for a relatively small number of advisors – those who are fiduciaries.
Under financial laws and regulations, there are two sets of rules. One set is for people who sell financial products, generally brokers and insurance company representatives. These salespeople are contractually obligated to place the interests of their employer ahead of the interests of their clients.
The other set of rules is for those who are registered as investment advisers with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or comparable state regulators. Registered investment advisers (RIAs) are legally obligated to place your interests first. They are fiduciaries. That means they must not only be loyal to serving your exclusive best interests, they must also adhere to a high standard of professional competence.
Unlike other classic professions, such as law and medicine, anyone can call himself an investment or financial advisor even if they are really just a salesperson. Recent financial reform legislation is attempting to change this situation, but there are powerful and extraordinarily well-funded financial service company lobbying organizations working overtime to protect the status quo.
The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard has drafted the very straightforward oath below. It commits us to adhere to a fiduciary standard at all times when working with our clients.
Please call us at 970-710-0330 if you would like more information about why it is so vitally important to work with a fiduciary when you need advice. We would be delighted to discuss this subject with you further.
Brian Littlejohn, MBA, CFP®, CFA is a fee-only financial advisor serving clients in Glenwood Springs, CO and beyond. His firm, Sherwood Investment Management, provides investment management, retirement planning, and comprehensive financial planning to help clients organize, grow, and protect their assets. Sherwood Investment Management is completely independent, acts as a fiduciary for its clients at all times, and never accepts commissions of any kind.