You Deserve a Fiduciary Standard of Care
Your finances and welfare may depend on the real difference between what is in your best interests and what is just potentially suitable.
We will always recommend that you accept nothing less than a fiduciary standard of care.
Fee-Only Fiduciary vs. Commissioned Based
For those not familiar with the term fiduciary, a fiduciary is “an individual in whom another has placed the utmost trust and confidence to manage and protect property or money. The relationship wherein one person has an obligation to act for another’s benefit.”
Most investors are not aware of a major division of financial professionals in the investment management world. This distinction lies between fee-only fiduciaries who are free to act in your best interests and commission-based agents and brokers who are required to act in the best interest of the companies that employ them. Even when people have some indication about the differences, several important misconceptions continue to remain about both and it can easily become very confusing.
A fiduciary has a legal obligation to act in a client’s best interests. A commission-based agent or broker has no such legal obligation, and while they are allowed to pose as a financial advisor, they are merely no more than a salesman. Their legal standard is called suitability, which means that the products they sell clients have to be vaguely suitable for their clients to purchase. They are legally safe as long as they follow their regulations regarding signatures and disclosures, which clients may not always pay attention to.
It’s Simple to Ask For
What this means is, if you are looking to hire someone to watch over your life savings and investments, ask them one simple question: are you a fiduciary? If the answer is not a clear yes, it may be best for you to look else where. While they might offer some reasonably good financial advice, chances are, their primary objective is to sell you some kind of investment product, even if it’s not good for your bottom line.
Also, keep in mind that some banks, credit unions, and investment services also offer free financial help. The takeaway is the same — ask if they’re a fiduciary.
Iron Mountain is a Fiduciary
We abide to the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard’s Best Practices.
Meaning we always keep your best interests at the foremost of our thinking. Our firm is “fee-only” in that we are not paid anywhere other than directly from you, our client. We do not receive commissions or sell financial products.
Iron Mountain Financial Planning, LLC is a fee-only Registered Investment Advisory firm that offers two methods of payment for financial planning: an upfront fee and monthly retainer for on-going, comprehensive financial planning or a one-time hourly fee based upon the client’s specific issue.
Investment management is also provided with an asset-based advisory fee schedule which can be found here.
All fees are fully disclosed before a Client service Agreement begins.
Our Fiduciary Oath
Because we believe in placing our clients’ best interests first, we commit to the following five fiduciary principles:
- We will always put our clients’ best interests first.
- We will act with prudence; that is, with the skill, care, diligence, and good judgement of a professional.
- We will not mislead clients, and will provide conspicuous, full and fair disclosure of all important facts.
- We will avoid conflicts of interest.
- We will fully disclose and fairly manage, in our clients’ favor, any unavoidable conflicts.
Iron Mountain Financial Planning LLC (“IMFP”) is a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the States of South Dakota and Wyoming and in other jurisdictions where exempted. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. The presence of this website on the Internet shall not be directly or indirectly interpreted as a solicitation of investment advisory services to persons of another jurisdiction unless otherwise permitted by statute. Follow-up or individualized responses to consumers in a particular state by IMFP in the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation shall not be made without our first complying with jurisdiction requirements or pursuant to an applicable state exemption.
All written content on this site is for information purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of IMFP, unless otherwise specifically cited. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources and no representations are made by our firm as to another parties’ informational accuracy or completeness. All information or ideas provided should be discussed in detail with an advisor, accountant or legal counsel prior to implementation.