Fiduciary is a word that is becoming more commonplace in the finance industry. But what does that word mean and why is it important to you?
Fiduciary Duty versus Suitability Standard
A fiduciary duty requires an advisor to always act in the client’s best interest. Meaning anything that is recommended for a client is in the client’s best interest free from outside influences even if it may have an adverse effect on the advisor.
A suitability standard is more relaxed in that an advisor is only required to believe that they are recommending an investment or financial planning recommendation that is suitable for the client at the time of the recommendation. Oftentimes, those following a suitability standard may not review their recommendations regularly, so something that may have been suitable for the client at the time of the recommendation may become unsuitable over time. Following the suitability standard also allows advisors to be influence by outside influences like commissions.
Does Your Advisor Follow a Fiduciary Duty?
It is important to understand the difference between a fiduciary duty and suitability standard when looking to hire a financial advisor. Most advisors will be more than willing to share their status as a fiduciary advisor and many will plainly state their status as a fiduciary advisor on the website and marketing brochures. You can also confirm whether or not an advisor follows a fiduciary duty to their clients on the firm’s Form ADV, which is required to be filed at least annually with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
At SGK Wealth Advisors, we have been a fee-only, fiduciary advisor since the inception of our firm. Looking out for the interest of our clients above our own has always been our priority. We do not accept any commissions or fees outside of the fee we collect for the assets that we manage as a fee-only, fiduciary advisor.
We also have Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®) practitioners and a Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) on our team. In order to maintain those designations, they must follow a fiduciary duty to their clients.
If you or someone you know would be interested in learning more about the fiduciary advice and guidance we provide, please reach out via our Contact Us page or call us at (703) 777-8826.
Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by STEIGERWALD, GORDON & KOCH WEALTH ADVISORS (“SGK”), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this newsletter will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from SGK. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. SGK is neither a law firm, nor a certified public accounting firm, and no portion of the newsletter content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of SGK’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request or at https://sgkwealthadvisors.com/. Please Note: If you are an SGK client, please remember to contact SGK, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services. SGK shall continue to rely on the accuracy of information that you have provided. Please Note: IF you are an SGK client, Please advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.