Barry Glassman, CFP

Barry Glassman, CFP®

His vision for starting GWS was to deliver investment strategies and wealth management services typically available at the highest levels of wealth. Today, clients benefit from these sophisticated financial services targeted to meet their unique needs.

Are you in search of a financial advisor who genuinely has your best interests at heart? Like most people, you likely prefer an advisor who prioritizes your needs above their own—otherwise known as a fiduciary. The fiduciary standard stands as the pinnacle of the advisor marketplace. In contrast, brokers or non-fiduciary advisors only have to adhere to a suitability standard, which allows them to provide recommendations that are appropriate but may not necessarily be the lowest cost or optimal investment for you.

So how can you determine if your advisor is, in fact, a fiduciary? We have three ways you can find out:

1. Major Brokerage Affiliations: Advisors associated with wirehouse firms like Bank of America / Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley often operate on a fee and commission-based model. While they may primarily receive advisory fees, they have access to commission-based and proprietary products, potentially influencing their recommendations. These products may offer higher compensation to the broker and could include additional incentives such as rewards trips.

2. Independence Claims: Some advisors claim independence while maintaining affiliations with larger firms. To discern this, inspect the disclosure typically located at the bottom of their webpage. If you encounter the phrase “Securities offered through…,” further investigation is warranted. Utilize FINRA’s BrokerCheck, and if they are identified as a broker, they are likely not a Full Fiduciary.

3. Fee-Only Network: Even if an investment advisor isn’t affiliated with a major brokerage firm, they may still sell costly insurance products or receive referral compensation from external brokerage firms, earning substantial commissions. Verify your advisor’s or firm’s presence on The Fee-Only Network to ensure adherence to the network’s high fiduciary standards. 

At Glassman Wealth, we pride ourselves on being a Full Fiduciary, meaning we manage our clients’ money and property solely in their best interests. We encourage investors to seek out advisors who operate under a fiduciary standard and prioritize transparency and client satisfaction above all else. For further assistance in finding a fiduciary advisor, resources such as NAPFA’s advisor search tool and educational articles from reputable sources like NerdWallet and Investopedia can provide valuable insights.

In a financial landscape where trust and transparency are paramount, choosing a fiduciary advisor ensures that your financial well-being remains the top priority. Don’t settle for anything less when it comes to your financial future.