Fiduciary Standards Are Important
Thirty-two years ago, I founded Resource Advisory Services after experiencing the abuses of the clientele I saw while working in a firm that called itself a “financial planner.” I wanted to work with a fiduciary, fee-only business model, which makes it imperative that we avoid the conflicts of interest that influenced my prior employer. Where we cannot avoid conflicts of interest, they are easy to see. Teaching clients they need this fiduciary standard has been very difficult. Finally, people seem to understand. In 2016, we subscribed to the newly published Fiduciary Best Practices by Institute for the Fiduciary Standard.
From its founding, this firm has helped people who met us with negative net worth to clients who were moderately wealthy at the time we began work for them. We have been dedicated to helping improve lives. There is more to money than money.® Across the entire range of wealth we experience, we see clients coming to us as victims of very painful financial services abuse. In working to salvage troubling situations, we have come to know that holding the abusive people and firms accountable has been virtually impossible. The most troubling thing is that those who least can afford the abuses have been the most harmed.
I am telling this story because I am very troubled by the news today that the DOL Fiduciary Rule, scheduled to go into effect in April, is being threatened. This DOL Fiduciary Rule is a huge step in leveling the playing field for everyone. I have supported the concept since before its first formal proposal, around 2010. Other fiduciary advisors have challenged me, saying our businesses benefit because we can grow by promoting the differences between other financial services firms and those that can be held accountable to act in their clients’ best interests.
This is true. The public is learning about the importance of fiduciary standards and our firms are growing well. The publicity over the DOL Fiduciary Rule alone has brought us clientele. We get calls all the time that begin with questions to reassure them we will act in our clients’ best interest. A growing number of people understand this issue very well and I am thankful. They can protect themselves better.
I didn’t choose to work for the DOL Fiduciary Rule because it would be good for my business. I worked for it because I am troubled by the abuses I am tired of seeing – particularly the abuse of those who do not have sufficient understanding to discern whether their source of financial service is working in their best interest.
If you want to make a difference, tell your elected officials. Click here – How to Contact Your Elected Officials.