Easy Money: What is a Fiduciary?

What does fiduciary mean? Ten or fifteen years ago, you really didn’t hear the word “fiduciary” unless people were talking about trust or things like that. But with the DOL ruling that they started to roll out a few years ago, the word fiduciary has become a hot topic, especially around finance. I think it should be a hot topic around everything, so let’s clear up what “fiduciary” means.

A fiduciary is somebody who has to have your best interest before their own. Legally, they cannot put their interest before yours. Working under the fiduciary standard, I legally have to put my client’s best interest before my interest and I have to prove to my compliance department that I’m doing so. In my personal opinion, you should look for a fiduciary in all parts of your life. If you’re getting a roof, try to find somebody that’s on your team getting what’s best for your house, not just trying to sell you a roof. If you’re having a contractor or anybody, try to find a fiduciary that’s on your side.

The unfortunate thing is that most industries don’t have a fiduciary license. There’s not a general equivalent for other businesses like there is with financial advisors. With financial advisors, there’s actually a license that advisors take to work under fiduciary standard, this is the Series 65 and 66. So while it’s important to have a contractor or roofer on your side, you might not have the fine print to prove they are. But if you get a roof that is imperfect, your worst-case scenario is you have to get a new roof. That’s terrible and may be a bit expensive, but it probably won’t devastate your finances beyond repair. If you have a financial advisor and they don’t do what’s in your best interest, your worst-case scenario can be much worse than a damaged roof. I recommend you work with somebody who legally has to have your interest first when making recommendations about your livelihood.

Securities and advisory services offered through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC, member FINRA SIPC, and a registered investment advisor. Madison Avenue Securities, and Don Anders are not affiliated companies.