Published in 2011 by Summit Financial Planning

  1. They will show you their signed written oath promising to exercise their best effort to act in your good faith and in your best interests.
  2. All fees have been fully disclosed to you.  The fees are understandable and you do not have to read the fine print to understand them.
  3. You pay fiduciaries for their knowledge, similar to a doctor or lawyer.  Therefore, a fiduciary does not sell commissioned products.
  4. Does your advisor sell you products?  If so, they are commissioned sales people acting in an advisory capacity.  They have a legal obligation to the company they work for, not the client.
  5. Listen to the language that your advisor uses.  A fiduciary will use consultative language.  A sales person, who is trained to get to know you so that they can make a sale, will ask questions like:  “Would you be willing to buy if . . .” and “Which of these choices would you prefer . . .”
  6. Listen….Follow your instincts.  A red flag should be raised if…
  • You feel like you are being sold or pushed to make a decision.
  • It seems too good to be true.
  • You are being sold a product that you cannot get out without great financial penalties.
  • You perceive a conflict of interest.  If your advisor is paid for products you buy, there is a conflict of interest between what is best for you and what is best for him/her and the company they work for.

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