What is a Registered Investment Advisor?
A Registered Investment Advisor has a legal, fiduciary responsibility to their client to put their interests first. We have chosen to become an independent RIA because it reinforces that we are beholden only to our clients. While this may seem like an obvious expectation of any financial advisor, advisors that are not fiduciaries may legally put their own interests, or that of their firm, ahead of their client. When you are considering what advisor to entrust with your assets, but sure to find out if they are a fiduciary – it truly is in your best interest.
What is a fee-only advisor?
Fee-only advisors are only paid by you because they work only for you. This business model is also described as “fee-for-service”. Payment may be a flat dollar amount, an ongoing monthly subscription, or a percentage of your Assets Under Management (the account balances that are managed by the advisor). This type of firm does not receive any commissions or compensation from industry partners, allied professionals, or vendors.
What is the difference between an RIA and a Broker-Dealer?
Unlike an RIA, which is regulated by the SEC and held to fiduciary standards, registered representatives who are employed by a broker-dealer may be told what products to sell and regulated in how they conduct business. Instead of the requirement of following a fiduciary standard, broker-dealers must only justify that their recommendations are considered suitable for the client – leaving a large possibility for a conflict of interest. RIAs are typically considered to be providing advice, completely tailored to a client’s individual financial needs & best interests, as opposed to a “product pusher.”