"Only in your best interests:"
A good workable definition of The Fiduciary Standard, In My Professional Opinion (IMPO.)
Preliminary (no charge, no obligation) phone / zoom calls and potential document review to determine interest and fit
Until I know the specific situation of an individual or couple, I simply do not know if I can function as a Fiduciary for them. Therefore, I look at and discuss their facts, goals and values with them on a preliminary basis at no cost or obligation. This is before they have entered into a client relationship (or paid anything or changed anything.)
I don't know any other way to do this "Fiduciarily." Otherwise it simply becomes a sales transaction without a Fiduciary basis. Which I won't knowingly do.
(see link below)
Transparency can and should have many elements. Some are mentioned here
Up front and ongoing Disclosures
- The various powers-that-be require various disclosures that will be emailed and / or shared on paper. Some require signatures. It is in many clients' best interests to do more than one thing. Each thing might and probably does have its own disclosures.
- Expenses, costs, compensation
- Conflicts of Interest
- Education, Training & Experience of professionals working with you.
- Who does what
Advantages & Disadvantages
Personal finance is potentially complicated. I read a lot in the field and see new things regularly. I will admit it might be possible that something exists that has no disadvantages. I personally & professional don't know what that is. So anything that might end up being a recommendation will have Advantages & Disadvantages discussed before any implementation.
Your Fiduciary doesn't have to do everything but they must see everything - initially and ongoing - or they simply can't be Fiduciary
Are you a D-I-Y ("Do-It-Yourself") Fiduciary?
Sometimes the medical analogy is useful even if MD readers might think I'm elevating myself and colleagues to their level - which I am definitely not. As a patient, it is incumbent on me to keep my PCP - Primary Care MD - informed of my relevant facts. How I feel. What symptoms if any I have. What supplements I take. Etc. Otherwise s/he can not possibly do the best possible job for me.
Financial Fiduciaries are no different. Many people are unwilling to "turn over" 100% of their investments to one person or one entity. I personally and professionally have no problem with that. But if these investments are divided 50% - 50% and I don't know how the other 50% is invested, then what I end up doing probably is not in clients' best interests. I'm not concerned about de minimis. If the split is 99% and 1%, no big deal.
Completely optional Implementation of - Advice - Services - Products
I do not require 100%, or any specific percentage of investments and / or other financial products / services. Implementation is available but optional. A free-standing or independent plan is available.