|Relationship||Your advisor’s sole, continuous duty across your entire relationship should be to advance your highest financial interests (even ahead of their own) as a FIDUCIARY.|
|Primary Role||Your advisor should understand and account for your total wealth interests and advise you accordingly. Understanding all components of your financial situation and how they interact is critical for making sound recommendations.|
|Employment Status||As a fully independent Registered Investment Advisor firm (RIA), your advisor’s only “boss” should be their clients, like you. In contrast to brokerages (whose primary role is to transact trades), banks (whose primary role is to custody accounts) and insurance representatives (whose primary role is to sell insurance), RIAs are legally required to provide fiduciary advice in regard to the entire client relationship and across all services.
RIA firms are regulated and overseen by either the SEC or their state (depending on firm size), while brokers are regulated by FINRA.
|Compensation||Your advisor’s compensation should be fee-only. A transparent, fee-only relationship ensures your advisor is on your “team,” and nobody else’s. They are best positioned to offer the impartial, product-neutral advice you deserve.
A fee-only advisor is not the same as a fee-based advisor. Fee-based advisors may be receiving your fees, plus commissions from others.
|Investment Plan||A sound investment plan should be grounded in evidence, not emotion. It will seek to patiently capture expected returns in accordance with your personal goals, risk tolerance and overall financial situation, not just individual accounts.
Your investment strategy should be documented in an Investment Policy Statement and it should be implemented using efficient, low-cost solutions.
|Custody of Assets||Your investment accounts should be held in your name at a fully independent custodian who reports directly to you. You should be able to log into your account anytime to view your holdings and balances.|
|Conflicts of Interest||Your advisor should minimize any conflicts of interest by embracing the best practices outlined above and any potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed upfront.|
|Chemistry||While there are no definitive rules of thumb when it comes to chemistry, you need to feel comfortable with the advisor you choose to work with. You need to be able to ask questions and get solid, concrete answers. You need to feel like you are being heard and not judged. You need to know that the advisor is always looking out for your best interests and is proactive in identifying opportunities. You need to believe that the advisor you work with is there for you, is responsive to your needs and above all else, cares about your well-being, goals and objectives.|