Industry Insights

Fiduciary Responsibility

Fiduciary Responsibility

Holding a distinguished position of fiduciary responsibility, FIDELIS iM is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). We are a fiduciary to all of our clients and we have held this distinguished standard since our inception.

fi·du·ci·ar·y: one who acts in utmost good faith, in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in the best interest of the client

Many investors are not aware of the difference between a fiduciary and less stringent suitability standards

In April of 2017, the Labor Department finalized a new regulation called the Fiduciary Rule. It requires registered fiduciaries to avoid conflicts of interest and operate with full transparency in the best interest of the client. Registered investment advisors must follow the new rule, but brokers and insurance agents are currently held to a much less stringent “suitability standard.” Investors should ask financial professionals if they are held to the rule and how they are compensated.

A financial advisor held to a fiduciary standard occupies a position of special trust and confidence when working with a client. This includes disclosure of how the financial advisor is to be compensated and any corresponding conflicts of interest. According to the organization, Focus on Fiduciary, fewer than 10% of advisors hold this fiduciary responsibility. Non-fiduciary advisors held only to the suitability standard are generally more interested in creating commissions than creating relationships. Titles for non-fiduciary advisors are unregulated which means they can adopt whatever title they believe makes them sound relevant, including stockbroker, financial consultant, retirement planner, portfolio manager, etc.

Learn more about the value of a fiduciary for investment management.

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