What is a Fiduciary and Why is it Important?
A financial advisor who's a fiduciary has an ethical duty to recommend the best possible solutions for their clients. Simply said, a fiduciary must put the client's best interests above their own.
By working with an advisor who is bound to the fiduciary standard, you can feel empowered that the partnership is based on a mutual desire to meet your unique needs.
Not all financial advisors are fiduciaries. Most financial advisors, even if they aren’t fiduciaries, have to consider your interests when offering advice, but only fiduciary financial advisors have to place your best interest above their own.
Fiduciary financial advisors commonly work for Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs). RIAs must register with the SEC or a state regulatory agency. Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) are also generally fiduciaries.
Financial advisors who work for brokerages generally are not fiduciaries. They are still, however, held to a legal standard of care known as the 'suitability standard'. Clients of broker-dealers need to be aware that the broker-dealer is permitted to dispense advice that is merely 'suitable' for their client's investment portfolio. This means that the products generally fit your needs but may have higher fees or offer the advisor a larger commission.
The CWG Difference
At Cornerstone Wealth, we practice a 'value & behavior-based philosophy' which takes the fiduciary standard to the next level. Beyond legal obligations, we are ethically bound to act in your best interest at all times — by taking the time to understand your unique needs and offer timely and honest guidance.
This is for informational purposes only. Investment advisory services offered through Cornerstone Wealth Group, LLC dba Cornerstone Wealth, an SEC-registered investment adviser.