You hear the term “Fiduciary” more and more in the news.  Why is it so important?  How can you be sure you are working with a Fiduciary?

Below are a series of articles I wrote to answer these questions and more.  If, after reading any of these articles, you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at 407-869-9800 or click here.   Happy reading!  Joe Bert, CFP®, AIF®

A Distinctive Fiduciary Standard Spelled C-E-F-E-X & D-O-L

It is not our goal to be the knight-errant of the fiduciary standard for all financial advisors. Nor do we propose to wag our fingers at those with conflicts. Rather, we simply hope to intimate our firm’s pride at our Investment Advisor, Certified Advisory Corp, having recently received the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence’s CEFEX designation and to discuss our perspective on the meaning of fiduciary duty.  Read the rest of the story.

The Numerical Alphabet Soup of Fiduciary Designations

We live by a simple rule: act in the best interests of our clients. This philosophy is also the underpinning for the financial advisory industry’s “Fiduciary Standard.”  But the word fiduciary is truly a sophist’s dream. There’s a veritable alphabet soup of numbers and letters that can allow certain actors to play games with what the meaning of “fiduciary” truly obligates them to do and the way they must act.  Read the rest of the story.

When Merely Being Suitable is Not Enough

The “Suitability Standard”, yet another ERISA-based mystery.   Let me endeavor to decipher this term by delving into the often-turgid waters of the fiduciary ocean by asking ourselves if merely meeting the standard of suitability meets the criteria for being a fiduciary. Read the rest of the story.

Don’t Follow The Rules, Follow the Principle

Many of us are likely familiar with the accounting world’s Rules v. Principles ethics regulation. But you may not be aware that the Department of Labor, since promulgating its fiduciary rule last year, has implemented a similar type of principle-based regulatory approach. Within the financial advisor world much of the debate over the so-called Fiduciary Rule has been centered on this approach.  But as a client, whether you are aware of this debate or not, the question becomes: why should you care?  Read the rest of the story.

Who Is Liable in a Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawsuit?

There were dozens of breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits filed, settled and adjudicated in 2016 against plan sponsors, fiduciaries and investment advisors. The trend for 2017 is for this legal torrent to continue regardless of the next steps with the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule. Read the rest of the story.