Broker Check

Mission-Help clients with complex finances often outside the expertise of mass market providers

| January 29, 2018

Mass Market / online / discount "Financial Folks" often will not have the expertise, training, experience or wisdom to provide adequate solutions to the more complex financial, estate and insurance situations

My mission is to make significant improvement both in my clients' state of mind (psychological) as well as actual financial situation ... while always adhering to the Fiduciary Standard -- "only work in clients' best interests."

As a Fiduciary I feel I must only do work on the more complex financial and estate situations. If clients' needs can be met by an ... "online - discount - very low expense / index - robo - algorithm - Artificial Intelligence (AI) - mass market provider, those clients will likely pay that provider less than they will pay me. Maybe not dramatically less - I strive to charge competitively for what I provide. But very likely less in total - for that simple type of solution. And if I have to charge clients' more without providing more / better value, than I am not adhering to Fiduciary principles.  Because in that scenario just described by my own professional opinion my fee would probably be uncompetitive or even the dreaded "overcharging!"

So I will primarily work in complex financial and estate areas that my - knowledge - experience - education - expertise - training and wisdom - enable me to work effectively ... and competitively.  Those mass-market providers mentioned above rarely will have my level of  - expertise - wisdom - et al

Because I won't accept the less complex challenges that can be adequately addressed by Mass Market providers, it is fair to ask, "How Would I Know?" (How complex the situation is.)   Part of the Fiduciary Standard must include looking at all the documents.  I don't require "managing" all the assets but I do require seeing all the documents! And talking to (both) potential clients about their values, goals and facts. Before the potential clients pay anything and / or transfer any assets or make any commitment.

So I will take a preliminary look at documents and have some preliminary communications / e.g. usually phone conversations and / or email ...  with potential clients to determine if their needs fit my work as Fiduciary.

My medical analogy breaks down somewhat.  You might go see an MD and she might - take history - do a physical exam - have some tests run - and then send you to another MD ... a Specialist.  This first MD will typically charge you for this preliminary work.

Our industry is different.  So I don't charge for this preliminary work.  Nor do I provide a "free" Written Second Opinion which in our industry might possibly be an Algorithm - Template - or Model ... not a Fiduciary - level analysis.

Not everyone wants a Fiduciary process.  Some intentionally do not want to reveal their entire situation to any one advisor.  That is their choice, but the trade-off means that no one is performing a Fiduciary job for them.  Required up-front Bundling is not fiduciary because a fiduciary analysis might produce a recommendation to take no other action

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