Broker Check

"Only in your best interests" financial planning that integrates your facts, values and goals

| February 04, 2021

"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

  1. 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.

  2. Expenses, costs, compensation

  3. Conflicts of Interest

  4. Education, Training & Experience of professionals working with you.

  5. 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.

Related Links