Fiduciary is a fancy sounding word whose meaning is actually quite simple: A fiduciary is a financial advisor who is legally bound to offer financial and investing advice that is in the best interest of the client, not the firm.
As a privately owned Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), C.W. O’Conner Wealth Advisors is a fiduciary. This is the main reason we decided to form as an independent wealth management firm when we first opened for business in 1995: We wanted to be able to offer objective, unbiased advice to our clients free from any potential conflicts of interest.
A broker-dealer is the other main type of financial advisor. Broker-dealers are compensated through commissions based on investment and insurance products they recommend and sell. They are held to what is referred to as a “suitability” standard, which means their advice must be suitable for the client’s needs at that particular time. This is very different from the fiduciary standard that independent RIAs must meet.
As a Registered Investment Advisor, we don’t receive compensation based on investment products we recommend and sell. Instead, we charge a fee for our services, based on either a retainer or a percentage of assets under management, and fully disclose this fee to you so you always know exactly how much you’re paying and for what. In fact, we are not licensed to offer or recommend any commission-based or proprietary investment products.
You can rest assured that your interests will always take precedence over those of the firm when you work with C.W. O’Conner Wealth Advisors. This is nothing less than our legal fiduciary duty.