Looking for a Fiduciary in Iowa? Residents of Iowa have plenty of options when it comes to picking a financial advisor. But choosing the right specialist for your specific retirement goals isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Here’s what you need to know in your quest for the best fiduciary services in the Hawkeye state.
As Iowans, we tend to believe life is good. After all, we live in a state with safe communities, solid schools and an affordable lifestyle. But when it comes to managing our money, do we dream of a more financially stable future? If so, how do we achieve that dream?
With the rule, financial advisors fall into two camps: fiduciaries and non-fiduciaries, adding a new level of confusion – and risk – to the advisor-client relationship for many investors. A fiduciary is a person who holds a legal or ethical relationship of trust with one or more other parties. They typically take care of money or other assets for another person. A fiduciary is defined by the legal and ethical requirement to put your best interest before their own.
Many services are the same for a fiduciary vs. a non-fiduciary, so what should you look for in a financial advisor relationship? Here’s what you should know when looking for a fiduciary in the state of Iowa.
Fiduciary vs. Non-Fiduciaries
The biggest difference between fiduciary vs. non-fiduciary financial advisors is the standard they’re held to when advising clients. As mentioned, a fiduciary is a person or legal entity, such as a financial firm, that has the power and responsibility of acting for another (usually called the beneficiary or principal) in situations requiring total trust, good faith and honesty.
There are a few ways to quickly tell a fiduciary from a non-fiduciary financial advisor. Financial advisors who are fiduciaries will want to know your history, including your family, investment history, hopes and future dreams. A non-fiduciary could be more concerned with what they can sell you—and probably less concerned with your particular situation or needs.
Some ways to distinguish a fiduciary vs. non-fiduciary financial advisor include if your financial advisor is registered with the SEC or state securities regulators, they are required to act as fiduciaries in at least some situations.
Fiduciaries also typically have long-standing relationships with several trusted and vetted industry partners such as estate planning attorneys and insurance brokers, who share their approach to acting in their clients’ best interests. A full-service Fiduciary should help with:
- Retirement planning
- Tax Options
- Investment Decisions
- Estate Planning
- Insurance Options
- Money Management
- Lifestyle Balance
When to Use a Fiduciary Advisor
We believe clients are almost always better off using a fiduciary. In fact, there’s rarely a reason not to use a fiduciary when preparing for retirement. However, you may not need a fiduciary if you don’t want an advisor to manage your account on your behalf or even make recommendations. If you want an advisor to simply execute transactions or to buy insurance, there’s no need to use a fiduciary.
Many reasons have been offered by those preferring not to operate according to a fiduciary standard. Remember the main issue for investors, though; would you rather have an advisor guide you in a way that is solely in your best interest, or something less?
Even if you just want to ensure that you get unbiased investment recommendations, then it’s a good idea to use a fiduciary vs. a non-fiduciary financial advisor. But how would an investor know if their advisors adhere to this fiduciary standard? Three criteria, provided by the Department of Labor, suggest that to demonstrate compliance, advisors and/or financial services firms should:
- State, in writing, that the firm commits to providing advice in the client’s best interest at all times
- State, in writing, that the firm has adopted policies and procedures designed to mitigate conflicts of interest
- Clearly and prominently disclose any conflicts of interest, like less-than-transparent fees or backdoor payments that might prevent, or provide a disincentive to, the advisor from providing advice in the client’s best interest
If your investment advisor ISN’T working with your best interests at heart, then how can you trust that they are making decisions that will benefit you in the long-term?
Full-Service Fiduciary Services from Johnson Wealth and Income Management
As Iowans, we long have prided ourselves in being middle Americans — working hard and enjoying a lifestyle of moderate measures. We are a full-service financial firm that provides an array of services to our clients in the state of Iowa. From tax planning to investment strategies, our commitment is to help you work towards achieving all your financial goals and to help provide you with a “worry free” retirement.
Instead of looking out across this state and being satisfied with how things are today, we look out and see tremendous financial opportunity and growth on the horizon. When you work with us, we don’t just ask about your financial situation. We want to know about your broader life circumstances, because we believe the more we learn about you, the more effectively we can help you with thoughtful financial advice for your unique situation.
Are you currently working with a non-fiduciary investment advisor and looking for some guidance? You can trust that our advisors will always put your needs ahead of their own. It’s our legal obligation to you as fiduciaries, but it’s also simply the right thing to do. Contact us here today to start the conversation.
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