By law, a fiduciary – like a doctor or lawyer – must act in the best interests of his client and seek to avoid all material conflicts of interest. Did you know most folks who call themselves financial planners are not actually required to act as fiduciaries? Did you know anyone selling insurance, working as a broker, or even advisors not associated with a big firm can simply avoid this rule of being a fiduciary if they choose to do so? But WHY would anyone not act in the best interest of their client?
Can you imagine a lawyer purposefully giving bad legal advice? Can you imagine a doctor giving you advice she knew would harm you? Can you imagine an accountant selling you some sort of product he knew was better for his company than it was for you?
You sort of expect a car salesmen to give you shaky ‘advice’ but most folks I ask tell me they had no idea their financial planner was able to legally give them advice that favored the house over their needs.
But the SEC is acting to change this. They want anyone who gives financial advice to be a fiduciary. Why is Wall Street fighting this so hard? Why would any industry fight tooth and nail to prevent itself from being asked to treat their clients fairly?
We’ve functioned as fiduciaries from day one here at MJ Everson Financial. We always will act in our clients’ best interest. It is a huge part of our being independent, being a B Corp, simply being nice folks. I ask again, why would anyone in my profession not want to act as a fiduciary? Unless they were afraid they couldn’t make an honest living?
This article from last weekend’s Wall Street Journal is very helpful on this topic. Please check it out by clicking here.