Fiduciary Financial Advisor Near Me: 4 Steps to Finding the Best One (and Does Proximity Matter?)
When it comes to working with a financial advisor to protect and preserve your wealth, trust is number one. Expertise is critical too, but expertise that doesn’t serve your best interests isn’t going to benefit you as much as it will the advisor. For those of you with $5+ million investable liquid assets we recommend our free guide, 7 Secrets to High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax and Financial Planning, because finding the best fiduciary financial advisor underlies them all.
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At Pillar Wealth Management we believe we have some of the best fiduciary financial advisors out there who are always striving to assist our high net worth clients any way they can, regardless of where they are.
Our managers and advisors hold more than thirty years of experience in this industry and offering these financial and advisory services.
Therefore, you can trust us to know exactly what we’re doing and help you fulfill your financial goals and targets with the help of our extensive resources. Get in touch with our advisors today to learn how we can help you.
In this blog, we’ll be discussing several topics of a fiduciary financial advisor, such as how to know if your advisor is a fiduciary, how to find one, how much they cost, what’s the difference between them and a financial planner, and the benefits and drawbacks of an advisor near you.
What is Fiduciary and Non-Fiduciary?
When looking for a ‘fiduciary financial advisor near me,’ the very first thing you need to do is understand what fiduciary really means? The fiduciary standard is a kind of responsibility that an advisor must always act in their client’s best interest. A fiduciary financial advisor always puts their clients’ interests before their own to avoid any conflicts of interest.
This means that they recommend investments, products, and comprehensive financial advice that are the best for their client, even if it results in some loss for them personally. As a fiduciary, they must disclose everything. For any recommendation they make, they have to disclose its benefits as well as any costs that come with it so that the client can make an informed decision.
On the other hand, a non-fiduciary advisor holds no such obligations. Advisors who don’t have a fiduciary duty usually hold themselves to the suitability standard instead, which is a much more relaxed responsibility. These advisors are simply obligated to suggest solutions that meet suitable criteria. This means they can suggest anything that is more profitable for them as long as it doesn’t harm you and provides some benefits, such as broker-dealers, insurance agents, or stockbrokers.
In case you haven’t realized, non-fiduciary advisors can be quite dangerous for you and your wealth. They can carry the risk of fraud at times, increasing the chances of you losing your wealth and assets. So, if you want to protect your wealth and avoid any conflicts of interest, you should find a wealth manager with a fiduciary standard. Better yet, you should go through our book, The Art of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios and Estates – Strategies for Families Worth $25 million to $500 million to learn of more ways to protect your assets.
How to Tell if Your Advisor is a Fiduciary?
If you’re wondering, “Is my advisor a fiduciary?”, then the simplest and quickest way is to find out is to directly ask them if they are a fiduciary advisor. Whatever the case, they can tell you right then and there. If not, you can check this list that can help you in checking the fiduciary of an advisor:
The word “financial advisor” is a general term to define that someone is expertise in financial services, advice, and professional experience, in reality, the term itself define to brokers, people, or agencies that deal with buying and selling securities. On the other side, the term “investment advisor” defines the legitimation of a financial advisor.
This is a good starting point for those who are difficult in distinguishing financial advisor with fiduciary standard and those without. You may ever hear about a registered investment advisor or RIA. When a financial advisor is listed on RIA. Their work will be monitored by SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) and FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). Based on this statement, financial advisors who are registered in RIA, have to oblige and operate based on the fiduciary standard. Thus, you can simply look for this term: investment advisor, when you are in need of investment advice or investment products that put its client’s best interest as their number one priority.
As stated above, the best way to find out if your advisor is a fiduciary is to check them through the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) website. If they are a fiduciary advisor, they will have the relevant information disclosed on SEC’s advisor search website in the Form ADV Part 2A.
Once on the website, you can search for other information about the firm or advisor as well, such as their credentials and licenses. If a financial advisor doesn’t have any information listed on the SEC website, that’s a big red flag. Besides that, you can also find information on advisors through other platforms like BrokerCheck.
National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors is a professional organization of fee-only and fiduciary advisors that are pledged to operate based on their client’s best interests. Members of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors have several essential values in doing their work, such as:
– Providing investment advice that is independent and objective for its clients (individuals and families).
– Being number one in terms of delivering investment advisory and financial planning services.
– Putting the highest standard while doing their duty in financial planning
Finding a Fiduciary Financial Advisor Near Me
You must be thinking, how do I find an advisor? Your search does not end at finding a fiduciary financial advisor. There are various other things to consider as well to ensure that you find the right fiduciary financial advisor. Here’s how you can find one, but for detailed instructions, we recommend going through our extensive guide on choosing a financial advisor for investors worth $10 million or more.
Assess Your Own Needs
Before even looking for a fiduciary financial advisor, you need to evaluate a few things on your own. You need to assess your own needs and decide why you really want a financial advisor. Fiduciary and non-fiduciary are just two types of financial advisors.
Even within those, you will find several different kinds of financial advisors that provide different services and cater to different needs. For instance, within fiduciary financial advisors, you will find investment management advisors, fee-only fiduciary financial planners, wealth managers, and more. While it may seem like all of them provide the same services, there are a few differences.
So, if you want the best advisor for yourself, you need to evaluate what you need. If you need holistic financial planning and wealth management services that cover all aspects of your wealth and assets, a wealth management firm will be the right fit for you.
Check Reputation and Credentials
The best way to evaluate a financial advisor’s abilities and skills would be to see their performance directly by going through their existing client’s portfolios. However, that’s not possible because they have to maintain confidentiality. Therefore, you have to rely on other methods. This includes checking their reputation and reviews and confirming their credentials.
You should see what kind of reputation that financial advisor holds in the market, what other people are saying about them, what their previous or existing clients have to say about their experience, and so on. If you know anyone who has worked with them directly, you can ask them for a detailed review of their services and skills.
Besides that, it’s also important to check if they have all the right credentials, certifications, licenses, etc. For instance, the term certified financial planner that is certified by the CFP board, All Rights Reserved, can help investors like you in proving the authorization of a financial planner. As mentioned earlier, you can do this from SEC’s advisor search website while confirming if they are a fiduciary advisor or not.
Check Compensation Method
It’s also important to check how the fiduciary financial advisor is compensated. There are fee-only advisors, commission-only advisors, and advisors who charge both. The problem with commission-only advisors is that they often come with a conflict of interest.
Since they earn commission every time they buy and sell a security on your behalf, it’s not always clear if they are working for your best interests or theirs. As a fiduciary, they might even disclose that they will earn a commission, but sometimes, it’s in that fine print people tend to look over or buried way deep into extensive legal documents.
Your best and safest option is to stick with a fee-only fiduciary financial advisor. They don’t have any conflict of interest. In fact, working for your best interests often aligns with their best interests as well. Pillar Wealth Management is a 100% fee-only wealth management firm. Start chatting with our advisors for financial solutions that serve your needs best.
Ask the Right Questions
If you really want to know whether a financial advisor is right for you, you need to ask the right questions first. While the best financial advisor should provide all the relevant and necessary information themselves to convince you to trust them, sometimes it takes a little prodding from your side to determine how good they are.
Therefore, ask them technical questions regarding the different costs you will have to bear and how they devise investment portfolio strategies. Along with that, it’s also important to ask some hard questions like how they will ensure that you have a safe and secure retirement or how they plan to help fulfill your goals.
Their answers should show you not only their knowledge but also their commitment. If they seem like they are entirely focused on performance numbers, that’s not necessarily a good thing, and you can learn why by reading about it in our guide for multi-millionaires on improving the performance of portfolios.
How Much Does a Fiduciary Financial Advisor Cost?
There are a lot of factors that affect how much a fiduciary financial advisor is going to cost you. For starters, it depends on the type of financial advisor you choose and the services you avail. Some financial planners can charge you from $1,500 to around $5,000 for drafting a financial plan. There are also Robo advisors, this Robo advisor can generate financial advice and charge much lower than a human advisor.
On the other hand, if you go for investment advisors, they will probably charge you a percentage of the Assets Under Management (AUM). Usually, this percentage is around 1%, but some financial advisors can charge more or less as well. This can depend on their money management style, which you can read about in this guide on portfolio growth strategies for families worth $5 million to $500 million.
Besides that, it also depends on the amount of your wealth. Some financial advisors tend to lower their rates as the net worth increases.
What is the Difference Between a Financial Planner and a Fiduciary?
Fiduciary financial advisors can include financial planners, but not every financial planner is necessarily a fiduciary money manager. Financial planners mainly work with clients to create comprehensive financial plans that help them achieve their financial goals. Sometimes, some financial planners can also specialize in specific investment management and financial planning services, such as retirement planning, tax planning, or debt management.
Financial advisors adopt a much broader outlook and holistically evaluate and manage various aspects of a client’s wealth and assets. Certain financial planners do come under fiduciary advisors, such as fee-only, independent financial planners. They can hold themselves to the fiduciary standard, but not all financial planners do. You can reach out to one of our fiduciary advisors to determine which kind of advisor would be best for you.
Do You Need a Fiduciary Financial Advisor Near You?
The last aspect we’re going to cover is whether you need a fiduciary financial advisor near you. Having a financial advisor in your locality certainly has its benefits. You can physically meet them whenever you want. If your assets happen to include real estate, the advisor’s knowledge of the local real estate market can help you make better decisions.
However, that’s pretty much it.
There aren’t any special benefits to working with an advisor near you.
These days technology has made it more than easy to get in touch with and communicate with anyone, and that includes a fiduciary financial advisor.
Therefore, rather than focusing on finding a financial advisor near you, you should look for the best financial advisor for yourself based on their credentials, reputation, experience, personalization, track record, etc. To help you get started, we suggest reading our exclusive guide on choosing a fiduciary financial advisor for high net worth individuals and families.
Pillar Wealth Management is an independent, white-glove wealth management firm. We have an entire team of fiduciary financial advisors and managers that are focused on providing specialized and tailored services to high net worth clients. We hold more than 30 years of experience in this field, which allows us to efficiently help our clients build their wealth, protect their assets, and achieve short and long-term targets. Book a consultation session with us to get started on building your wealth and assets.