By Marjorie L. Rand, CPA, CFP®, RICP®
As hard (and as long!) as you’ve worked to grow your wealth, attempting to DIY your financial plan may not be the best route. After all, developing strategies and tools to do that can be both daunting and time-consuming. This is where enlisting the help of a financial advisor could make a world of difference.
Just as you wouldn’t want a plumber wiring the electricity in your new home, you don’t want just anybody guiding you in your financial life. With something as important as your finances, you want to experience the peace of mind that comes from entrusting your money to someone who has knowledge and experience that relates to your unique situation.
So the challenge isn’t finding a financial advisor (Google will undoubtedly spit out a mind-boggling number of names in your area)—it’s finding the right financial advisor. How do you know you’re working with someone who puts you first and doesn’t have conflicts of interest? The answer to this all-important question comes down to just one word: fiduciary.
One simple way to narrow the field is to limit your search to advisors with a fiduciary duty to their clients. Financial advisors and planners categorized as fiduciaries are legally bound to put the best interests of their clients above all else. In the world of wealth management, this is an important distinction.
Many experts recommend narrowing the field even further by seeking out a fee-only fiduciary. This refers to how your financial advisor earns their income. While some advisors and planners earn commissions on transactions for products that they sell, a fee-only fiduciary is compensated through an established fee specific to the services they provide. A fiduciary advisor can’t, for example, suggest you buy a security that will provide a kickback for them but not benefit you. They aren’t out to make a commission or sale. Their number-one priority is giving you advice that helps you reach your financial goals.
Why Should I Work With a Fee-Only Fiduciary?
There are several benefits to working with an advisor who serves in a fiduciary capacity. By working with an advisor who is bound to the fiduciary standard, you can feel empowered that the investment advice you receive for yourself and your finances is tailored to you. Clients have the ability to ask questions and access the highest value for the service that advisors are providing.
Personalized, Unbiased Advice
As an independent advisor, the guidance I offer my clients is objective and unbiased because I am not tied to any particular financial company or investment firm. This means I can analyze your complete financial picture, gain an understanding of your life circumstances, dreams, and concerns, and recommend financial strategies that fit you. I don’t stay within one investment firm or recommend products to meet quotas. As such, you can count on me as a fiduciary advisor to develop financial plans that are tailor-made to fit your needs.
If you’ve ever been sold on an investment or banking product by an overzealous company rep, you know well how feelings of doubt can cloud the interaction. Even when their company’s latest financial products seem like good deals, you’re almost always left wondering if those products and money moves are right for accomplishing your unique set of financial goals. Avoiding these kinds of scenarios altogether can save both money and countless hours of worry.
The relationship you form with your financial advisor must be built on transparency, excellence, and trust. Anything short of that is a non-starter. At Rand Financial Planning, we know our clients personally and have developed close relationships with many of them. Because of this, we only offer advice that is aligned with our clients’ goals and make a point to keep up with any change in our clients’ situations that could affect their financial plan. Rather than being static, our financial plans grow with you. They are built to fit your life, not the other way around.
It’s All About You
Partnering with a fiduciary gives you access to expert strategies and tools for maximizing the potential of your financial investments as well as a knowledgeable guide to help you navigate every twist and turn you face. The decision to work with a fee-only fiduciary may just be the first of many you can make with confidence—and your future self will thank you for it!
Are you unsure about your current financial strategies? Has it been several years since you reevaluated your investments? Are you feeling anxious about retirement? Or are you just interested in learning more about what it means to work with a fiduciary? Whatever your situation, we’re happy to offer you a complimentary consultation. Schedule a 20-minute introductory call or reach out to us at 908-895-2406 or firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we are the right firm to help you on your financial journey.