The single most important question to ask when selecting a financial adviser is if they adhere to the Fiduciary Standard. In other words – will they always put your interests ahead of theirs?
That seems like a question you would not have to ask. But the financial services business has been built upon selling complex, high fee products to investors. Is the primary goal growing your account? No, it’s generating fees for them.
Earlier this year the Department of Labor enacted regulations forcing the Fiduciary Standard onto the financial services industry, applying only to retirement accounts (industry lobbyists fought off the requirement for regular brokerage accounts etc).
The Trump administration is reportedly looking to peel back the DOL regulations but as this Wall Street Journal story reports – it may be too late as the concept of the Fiduciary has been highlighted broadly to investors who are now demanding that of their advisers.
The less you pay for financial advice/products, the more you keep. Don’t accept anything other than a Fiduciary relationship with your adviser or brokerage account manager.