A Fee-Only compensation advisory arrangement promotes an objective and consultative approach while other compensation arrangements create conflicts-of-interest that are hard to ignore. Choose a comprehensive advisor with the proper education and experience whose only revenue comes directly from you, the client.
Independent Registered Investment Advisors are professional firms that provide personalized financial guidance to their clients, many of whom have complex financial needs. Being independent means not being tied to any firm, particular families of mutual funds or investment products.
All financial affairs should be coordinated. You should have a trusted and experienced advisor assist you with coordinating all aspects of your financial situation. Portfolio management should not occur in isolation, but right alongside tax planning, estate planning, risk management, debt management, charitable giving, and all of other financial affairs.
Many advisors are now also calling themselves "fiduciary", but that's a bit misleading as there's a lot of wiggle room in the SEC's "fiduciary rule". A true fiduciary must have a complete understanding of a client's financial situation before they can give the best advice on any part of it. How could they otherwise? Indeed, a fiduciary should advise a client how they themselves would act in a similar situation.
The fiduciary relationship begins with understanding your situation and vision for the future. We then develop and implement strategies consistent with your goals, resources, constraints, and preferences. Once implemented, strategy is then monitored and adjusted as opportunities and challenges arise. These come at us from all directions and should be dealt with as best we can, using what we know and by focusing on what we can control.
All clients have one thing in common: The desire to work collaboratively with an objective, prudent, comprehensive, and trusted advisor who puts their interests first.
“Speculation is an effort, probably unsuccessful, to turn a little money into a lot. Investment is an effort, which should be successful, to prevent a lot of money from becoming a little.”