If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you may have come across something about financial advisors. In case you missed it, here are the […]
2015 seemed to be an especially bumpy ride for investors in the stock market. Here, I’ll share “3 Observations about 2015” and “3 Themes for 2016.”
Recently I received an email from someone who indicated that they wanted wealth management services for their family. I found it interesting that they also […]
This is Part 2 of a six part series on choosing a 401k plan advisor.
While there are many independent professional advisors to whom a plan sponsor can delegate fiduciary responsibility, and therefore potential fiduciary liability, there are many more non-fiduciary service providers marketing themselves and their salespeople as independent experts. These “Phantom Fiduciaries” walk the walk and talk the talk, but in the fine print of their contracts they disavow themselves of any true fiduciary responsibility thus leaving the trusting plan sponsor on the fiduciary hook. More on Phantom Fiduciaries and their tricks at “Retirement Plans, The Wizard of Oz & You.”
In order to distinguish the wheat from the chaff, here are some topics for discussion with a potential advisor:
Are you a registered representative (aka. financial advisor/consultant, representative, agent, broker, account executive, wealth manager, or full-service investment advisor) or a Registered Investment Advisor?
By law, registered representatives are held to the “Suitability Standard” while Registered Investment Advisors (RIA’s) are held to the “Fiduciary Standard.” The suitability standard is akin to non-malfeasance and might be restated as the “do no harm” standard. A registered representative has no obligation to place your interests above his own. The fiduciary standard is akin to beneficence and might be restated as the “do good” standard. For a registered representative to violate the Suitability Standard, he must proactively harm you. An RIA violates the Fiduciary Standard if he fails to put your best interests ahead of his own! […]