Fiduciary Wealth Partners (FWP) has made a firm commitment to act as a fiduciary and provide investors with transparency into all that we do.
Many firms say they take a fiduciary approach and some say they have fiduciary values.
We find, however, that many firms and professionals who use the word fiduciary are really not holding themselves to true fiduciary standards, and importantly, are not bound to act, or in a position consistently to act, in a manner that reduces conflicts and strives to puts their clients’ interests first.
We do not want to judge others or their actions incorrectly, however, so versus making bold statements of fact or concern, we encourage investors to think about the following questions:
- Are your investments or advisory relationships formed through brokerage / broker-dealer contracts?
- Do your brokerage / broker-dealer contracts fully discuss their suitability standards versus fiduciary responsibility?
- Do your investment advisor agreements contain FINRA arbitration clauses for dispute resolution?
- Does your investment firm offer proprietary / in-house investment funds or products?
- Is your investment advisor allowed to share commissions from the sales of investment or insurance products?
- Does your investment advisor take fees of any type from any third party investment or product firm?
- Does an investment firm that sells products or funds have any ownership stake in your investment advisor?
If you find yourself answering “yes” to any of these questions, your investment advisor might be in a position that could cause them to act in an overly conflicted manner.
Of course, conflicts can be managed by strong internal controls and strong personal fortitude, but everyone has them (including us).
Below are actions that we have taken and additional pledges we make to our clients, whom we call partners. They form the foundation of what we believe should be the standard for using the term “fiduciary”.
- We have given up the securities licenses that would allow us to take commissions from the sale of an investment fund, product or security
- We do not accept any payments from any investment firm (“pay to play”) or have any fee sharing arrangements of any type with an outside firm
- We do not have arbitration clauses in our agreements
- All performance is calculated by independent third parties
- We are not affiliated in any manner with a third party investment firm, broker-dealer, or custodian
- No outside firm has any ownership interest in our firm
- We do not have proprietary / in-house investment funds