The average person doesn’t know that most “financial advisors” and insurance agents are not required to act in your best interest. Our firm, as a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), is required to act with a fiduciary level of care – with our clients’ interests ahead of our own at all times. I’ve found that the average person is surprised to hear this.
The federal government under President Obama has been trying to enact laws forcing advisors to live up to a fiduciary level of care. (Among those of us in the industry that read about these activities it’s been a constant hum of “drama”.) However, due to the strong influence of lobbyists, by the time these new laws get passed, they are so watered down so as to make them a non-event – at least from our fiduciary perspective.
Now with a new president-elect in the wings – everything is up in the air. Will the new administration stop these laws? If so, when? We don’t know.
Our take is this: We appreciate the attempt to pass laws only because it has increased awareness of the problems that can accompany non-fiduciary advice. The actual laws have virtually no impact beyond increased cost and paperwork.
Our take is summarized with this statement: “We’ve always been fiduciaries. We’ll continue to be fiduciaries. We are proud to be fiduciaries.”