When is a Fiduciary Not Really a “Fiduciary”?

When is a Fiduciary Not Really a Industry Delivery Model ComparisonFiduciary?

It is often difficult to distinguish the services of one financial “advisor” from another. The cynical among us would suggest that this is the result of calculated efforts to confuse the public mind on the issue. We have those who function as nothing more than product salespersons calling themselves “advisors”. When you go into the Ford dealer to buy a car, you are well aware that they are trying to get you to buy a Ford whether they call their representative a salesperson, an advisor, a consultant, or whatever. But when you walk into a brokerage firm (the financial industry’s version of a car dealer), we think someone with the title of “advisor” is actually objectively reviewing all alternatives and merely “advising” us on what is truly the best for us?

A big push over the past few years has been to educate the public on the difference between a “fiduciary advisor” – i.e., someone who truly IS objective and unbiased and owes you the obligation to guide you to what is best for you – and these salesperson “advisors”. However, now some of the salesperson “advisors” have structured themselves in a way to be able to claim they are providing “fiduciary” advice. It is certainly not the same level of fiduciary advice as is provided by an independent fiduciary because of the rampant conflicts of interest between the product sales element of the brokerage firm and the advisory arm of the “fiduciary”. But it certainly and effectively muddies the waters.

If you are confused about these differences, visit our website at www.financialfiduciariesllc.com. We provide convenient and updated access there to information that will hopefully bring you to a clearer understanding on differences between financial services providers. Also on our website and/or YouTube channel enjoy the short video Tom Batterman presents on “Fiduciaries vs. other “financial advisors”, which will provide a somewhat humorous – yet meaningful – take on the these distinctions.

About Objectively Speaking

Tom Batterman, founder of Vigil Trust & Financial Advocacy and Financial Fiduciaries, LLC is in the business of representing the best financial interests of his clients. Having provided objective, fee-only financial management services for over two decades, he specializes in managing the investment and related financial affairs of individuals and mutual insurance companies who do not have the time, interest or expertise to manage such matters on their own. As an objective, unbiased professional who takes on a fiduciary responsibility to his clients, he guides clients to the financial decisions they would make themselves if they had years of training and experience and the time and expertise to fully research and understand all of their options. Founded in 2010 as an outgrowth of Vigil Trust & Financial Advocacy, Financial Fiduciaries, LLC is a financial management solution for individuals and mutual insurance companies who recognize they do not have the time, interest or expertise to properly attend to their financial matters on their own. While there are many financial “advisors”, most of them have investment products to sell and the “advice” they provide is geared toward getting their clients to engage in a purchase. As one of the rare subset of advisors known as “fiduciary advisors”, Financial Fiduciaries does not sell any investment product so its guidance is not compromised by conflicts of interest which plague ordinary advisors. Prior to his employment in the financial industry in financial advocacy and trust positions, he worked at a private law practice in the Wausau area in the areas of estate planning, tax, retirement planning, corporate organizations and real estate. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the UW-Madison Law School and has during his career held Series 7, 24 and 65 securities licenses. A longtime resident of the Wausau, Wisconsin Area, Tom is active in the community. He enjoys golf, curling, skiing, fishing, traveling and spending time with his family.
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