Are you a fiduciary? Are you REALLY a fiduciary?
Trust is key for plan advisors. Clients entrust their financial future to their advisors, so it stands to reason that advisors should put their clients’ best interests first, ahead of their own interests. Disclosure and transparency of any conflicts of interest, code of ethics, risk and fees should be the cornerstone of every fiduciary’s practice.
Recently, the Consumer Federation of America issued a report Financial Advisor or Investment Salesperson? Brokers and Insurers Want to Have it Both Ways. The argument is interesting: comply to regulations to be a “trusted fiduciary advisor” or don’t necessarily comply, keep things very simple (but not necessarily held to any standards) and just sell investments.
Mark Miller hit the nail on the head. His latest article Advice or selling? Why language matters in fiduciary battle, he breaks down the difference between those who claim “we are trusted financial advisors – fiduciaries” and “we are just salespeople with pretty marketing documents.”
The government, and more specifically the DOL, has put a stake in the ground. Regardless of what happens to the FidRule during this administration, it is in the best interest of all to put consumer interests first. Yes, common sense dictates that provisions should be put in place to protect consumer investments. Whether legislation in place or not, we believe you, as a retirement advisor, want to put your clients’ interests ahead of your own by eliminating conflicts of interest on retirement accounts.
How do you do that? The answer is transparency. Clearly state why you are recommending a fund and document all changes. Make sure that fees are clear upfront. Eliminate potential liability during audits.
Fluent recognizes that with the current tools on the market, it is not easy to be transparent.
Your clients don’t want antiquated systems tracking their investments. They want real-time tools that help them assess plan health, identify gaps and take action. Are your tools up for the challenge? We’ve developed a better way.
UtopiaAdvisor is a platform that combines all the necessary investment review elements for fiduciaries – what is more, we have also included plan health, retirement readiness, plan review – into one integrated technology to help you achieve your goals. By putting all of the information at your fingertips, and documenting every step of the way, you break down the barriers for transparency and better define your value.
So ask yourself: do I want to be a fiduciary? Unless your business card says sales manager, strive for more.
Learn more about UtopiaAdvisor. Come to booth #437 at the NAPA 401k SUMMIT or visit our website www.fluenttech.com/advisor-solutions