Are you Working With a Salesman or a Fiduciary?

Today is a faster and more complex world. Market environments are changing and evolving at lightning speed. As a fiduciary, we don’t offer any proprietary products and we aren’t tied to any specific products or services from a particular company, so we can select the right tool for the job at hand regardless of the market conditions thrown at our clients. We make sure you know what you own and why you own it, which can take a lot of the uncertainty out of the trip toward your goals.

Advisors follow the Fiduciary Standard, which was established within the Investment Advisors Act of 1940. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Fiduciary Standard requires advisors to act in the best interest of the client – specifically stating that they must put their clients’ interests above their own. It requires higher standards and is more stringent than the suitability standard. Advisors are normally paid a fee that is a percentage of assets.

A broker is defined by the SEC as “any person engaged in the business of effecting transactions in securities for the account of others.” Brokers follow the suitability rule, which states that a broker needs to believe that recommendations given are consistent with the interests of the client’s financial needs and circumstances at the time. The rule does NOT set standards around conflicts of interest or a need to place clients’ interests before one’s own – this leaves room for conflicts to arise between a broker and client. One of the biggest conflicts concerns commissions paid to the broker for managing investments in the company’s fund offerings. Brokers are paid via commissions per transaction.

Unfortunately, too many people use the terms advisor (fiduciary) and broker (salesman) interchangeably, which blurs the stark differences between the two. Oxford Retirement Advisors Integrous Investing takes the role of fiduciary seriously and holds each member to the fiduciary responsibility, period.