If you’re not familiar with the term “fiduciary,” you’re not alone. A fiduciary is a person or organization that has been legally entrusted to act in the best interest of another person or organization. The term “fiduciary” comes from the Latin word for trust (fidelitas), and in certain situations, fiduciaries can be referred to as trustees. In the financial world, fiduciaries are held to a higher standard than other types of financial professionals, such as brokers and insurance agents. One of the important responsibilities of a fiduciary is that they must always put their clients’ interests first before their own.
Why is this important? Because when it comes to your finances, you want to make sure that you’re working with someone who has your best interests at heart. Possibly, it may not be the case with certain brokers and insurance agents who may be more focused on making a commission than on helping you reach your financial goals.
What Does a Financial Fiduciary Do?
You may have heard the term fiduciary before, but what does it actually mean? Fiduciaries can include lawyers, real estate agents, and other professionals who have the responsibility of managing assets for their clients. A financial fiduciary is a financial advisor who is legally bound to act in the best interest of their clients. This means that they are required by law to always manage assets in a way that benefits their clients’ best interest.
A fiduciary financial advisor provides guidance and advice on how to manage and protect your assets. This can include investing in stocks and bonds, saving for retirement, and estate planning. Fiduciaries are required by law to always act in your best interests, this includes any potential conflicts of interest before providing advice or recommendations.
For example, let’s say you’re working with a fiduciary on retirement planning. If the advisor also happens to sell insurance products, they would be required to let you know about that conflict of interest before recommending any insurance products. This helps to ensure that you’re getting unbiased advice that’s in line with your best interests.
What can I expect working with a Fiduciary Financial Advisor?
There are reasons why working with a fiduciary financial advisor can be beneficial. Not only are fiduciaries required by law to act in your best interest.
They are also bound by confidentiality laws. This means that they cannot share your confidential information with anyone without your consent.
What Are the Risks of Not Using a Fiduciary?
There possibly could be risks associated with not using a fiduciary financial advisor.’) First, you may not be getting the best advice possible if your advisor is not legally bound to act in your best interest. Additionally, you may be at risk of having your confidential information shared without your consent if your advisor is not bound by confidentiality laws. Lastly, you may not be adequately protected from fraud or other financial crimes if your advisor is not regulated by the Securities Exchange Commission.
The Importance of Understanding Fiduciary Status
As a physician, government employee, entrepreneur, or business professional, you may work with individuals who have a fiduciary responsibility to manage assets on your behalf. It is important to be able to identify when someone holds this type of role so that you can be confident that your best interests are being taken into with consideration.
Fiduciaries must always put the needs of their clients ahead of their own and avoid any conflicts of interest.
Types of Fiduciaries
There are many different types of professionals who may have fiduciary responsibilities, including lawyers, real estate agents, investment advisors, and some professionals, such as doctors and therapists. If you are unsure whether someone is a fiduciary, you can ask them directly or check with the relevant regulatory body. For example, investment advisors who are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are considered fiduciaries. Thus, if you are working with an SEC-registered investment advisor, they are legally required to always act in your best interests.
The Duties of a Fiduciary
In addition to acting in the best interest of the client and avoiding conflicts of interest, fiduciaries also have a duty to disclose any material information about investments that could impact their clients’ decision-making. For example, if an investment carries a higher risk than usual, the fiduciary has a duty to disclose this information to their client so that the client can make an informed decision about whether to proceed with the investment.
If you’re looking for financial advice, it may be beneficial to work with a fiduciary. These advisors are legally bound by confidentiality laws, must always act in your best interest, and must disclose any potential conflicts of interest before providing advice or recommendations. If you are working with a fiduciary, their advice must be what’s best for you, not what’s best for the fiduciary’s bottom line. Get to Know the Future, Get to know Manna Wealth Management
Disclaimer: The information and opinions expressed herein have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but are not guaranteed for accuracy or completeness; are for information/educational purposes only; do not constitute a solicitation or recommendation for the purchase or sale of any security; are not unbiased/impartial; subject to change; may be from third parties. Opinions expressed are those of the Author and do not necessarily reflect those of B. Riley Wealth Management or its affiliates. Investment factors are not fully addressed herein. For important disclosure information, please visit www.brileywealth.com/legal-disclosures.