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How to Find a Financial Advisor That Puts Your Interests First

Finding a financial advisor that you not only feel comfortable with, but most importantly, that you trust to manage your investments is not always an easy task.

With so many different types of “advisors” vying for your business, it can be confusing to filter out the noise to pick the right one. Broker, Registered Representative, Investment Advisor, Fee-Only Financial Advisor –what’s the difference between them all?

This week, we hope to shed some light on this confusing topic and answer once and for all which type of financial advisor actually puts YOUR best interests above their own.

In a recent column from the Washington Post, author Barry Ritholtz explains the differences between the two standards used to govern the financial industry – the “suitability” standard versus the “fiduciary” standard.

Brokers—or registered representatives as they’re sometimes called—are only legally obligated to do what is “suitable” for the client, and mostly get paid by commission fees from transactions. This can often lead to the broker suggesting unsuitable sales or trades to the client, with their commission earned being the sole reason to do so. Moreover, the client’s best interest is not part of the equation.

In stark contrast, Registered Investment Advisors, or RIAs, are legal fiduciaries for their clients, which means they are obligated to “act at all times for the sole benefit and interest of the client.”

Here at Ivy League Financial Advisors LLC, we are and have always been, fiduciaries and RIAs for our clients.

Rithholtz sets the record straight—“The standard is simple. There is zero wiggle room. Any advice, product or service offered to a client must meet the test of ‘Is this in the client’s best interest?’ If the answer is ‘No,’ then it cannot be performed by a fiduciary. It is against the law.”

Another recently published article in the New York Times also comments on this topic by saying that brokers are “very much hunters….hunting for assets.” Ritholtz suggests that in any given year, “brokers charge from five to 10 times (or more)” what an RIA will charge per account.

Can you really afford to trust your retirement to a broker who doesn’t have your best interests at heart?

Ritholtz closes by saying, “When seeking out advice, do yourself this favor: Find an adviser who is legally obligated to put your interests first. When you are retired and living comfortably off of your investments, you will thank me.”

We hope you will click over and read this column from the Washington Post and this article at the New York Times for more information. As always, please give us a call if you have any questions or would like to set up a time for a complimentary initial consultation. 

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Welcome To Ivy League's New Website & Blog

Welcome to our new and improved website and blog! We have worked really hard to create a website that will not only be informative and helpful for our current client base, but one that will also be a source of financial education and information for the community.

 

Our website is organized by the following sections:

  • Your Goals - This section outlines the different types of clients that we work with and gives more detail about the types of work we do for each client type.
  • Our Services - This section outlines in detail the different types of services that we offer as fee-only financial planners and investment managers.
  • Finanical Planning Process - This section illustrates the financial planning process from start to finish.
  • About Us - This section will help you get to know us as a firm as well as introducing you to each member of our team.
  • The Ivy League Difference - Here at Ivy League Financial Advisors, we take a holistic approach to financial planning that addresses all of your financial issues in the context of your life goals. This section outlines how we stand out from the pack.
  • Newsroom - Another way we provide a Higher Standard of Financial Advice is through our commitment to both community and client financial education and awareness. For this reason, we continually work with both local and national media as a financial expert and commentary. In this section, you will find our news mentions, recognitions and awards, our press kit and press releases.
  • Resource Center - Our commitment to financial education and awareness doesn't just end in our conference room. In this section you will find Case Studies that exemplify the services we provide to our clients, as well as financial briefs, financial news articles, market information, financial calculators and even e a quarterly market update.
  • FAQs - In this section we have provided a list of Frequently Asked Questions (and their corresponding answers) that we receive most often from clients and prospects.

We hope that you will take the time to browse around, and even connect with us on our social media channels! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn.

 

As always, please contact us to learn more about our firm and how we might be a good fit for your financial needs.

 

Thank you!

 

The Ivy League Teamp

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