Standard of Care
There are two different standards of that financial professionals can apply to client relationships. The minimum standard is that which is legally required for registered representatives of a securities broker / dealer. Under the suitability standard there is no requirement to make recommendations that are in the clients’ best interest. They just have to be suitable given the clients’ investment objectives and financial situation. The advice that is given by the registered representative is considered incidental to the sale of financial products.
For an investment advisor, the advice provided is considered central to their overall services. Therefore, there is an expectation of a fiduciary standard. A fiduciary relationship is one of a principal-agent. This standard recognizes that the decisions and actions suggested or taken by the investment professional (the agent) can have long-term consequences for the financial outcomes and decisions of the client. Registered Investment Advisors and their representatives fall under this standard.
In order to provide the best possible solutions for a wide range of clients, the professionals at Rogers & Kirby are dual licensed. This means that we technically apply whichever standard was appropriate for the particular client and recommendation. However, we are completely committed to the higher fiduciary standard.
In addition, we are members of the Financial Planning Association (the professional organization for Certified Financial Planner® professionals). This organization has a required standard of care that is a fiduciary type standard. It requires that we:
- Put the client’s best interest first;
- Act with due care and in utmost good faith;
- Do not mislead clients;
- Provide full and fair disclosure of all material facts; and
- Disclose and fairly manage all material conflicts of interest.
It is our sincere conviction that these standards are simply the right way to treat our valued clients and the best business practices.