Currently, there are two standards that advisors and financial planners are held to -- the suitability standard and the fiduciary standard. As a registered investment advisor (“RIA”), MPCA operates under the fiduciary standard, which basically charges us with putting our clients' best interest ahead of our own. Contrast this with the suitability standard governing traditional broker/dealers, which simply requires that investments must fit clients' investing objectives, time horizon, and experience. To explore the fiduciary standard in greater detail, let’s look at the Five Core Principles as outlined by The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard:
- Put the client’s best interests first;
- Act with prudence, that is, with the skill, care, diligence and good judgment of a professional;
- Do not mislead clients--provide conspicuous, full and fair disclosure of all important facts;
- Avoid conflicts of interest;
- Fully disclose and fairly manage, in the client’s favor, unavoidable conflicts.
These dueling standards have been a hot item in the news as of late, as there has been a push to move broker/dealers away from suitability towards the fiduciary standard. As you see these headlines, please be assured that MPCA already has an unwavering commitment and obligation to operating under the fiduciary standard. We believe that the fiduciary standard better protects investors, and thus leads to better relationships, better returns, and a better financial picture for our clients.
As always, we invite you to contact us at any time to learn more about this concept.