Broker-dealers are regulated by the SEC, but they are not required to be fiduciaries. Rather, they are held to the “suitability standard”—they only have to prove that an investment is suitable for their client at the time of its purchase, not that the advice was in the client’s best interest. Broker-dealers typically earn a commission on sales of investments.
Balu and his wife were helped to set up an establishment of their own in Lawley Extension. Margayya, wishing to draw Dr. Pal away from his son, sought his help in attracting deposits from Black Marketers on the promise of an interest of 29%. If he got Rs. 20,000 deposit each day and paid Rs. 15, 000 in interest, he had still Rs. 5000 a day left in his hands as his own. Margayya became rich. It was now necessary for him to own a car. Every nook and corner of his house was stuffed with sacks full of currency notes. He was on the right side of the police, contributed to the War Fund when driven to do so, and worked day and night with his accounts and money bags, though his wife was unhappy at his straining himself so much.
A fiduciary advisor, by definition, is an advisor who is paid a retainer by an employer to advise employees on their retirement plan investments, as well as to provide a complete range of other products and services. Fiduciary advisors are not responsible for the entire company's retirement plan; they are only accountable for the advice which they give to employees on an individual basis.
Typically, financial planners earn their living either from commissions or by charging hourly or flat rates for their services. A commission is a fee paid whenever someone buys or sells a stock or other investment. For reasons we’ll explain later, you may want to avoid financial planners who rely on commissions for their income. These advisers may not be the most unbiased source of advice if they profit from steering you into particular products.

Choosing a fiduciary financial advisor can give you greater peace of mind. With a fiduciary financial advisor, you’ll know that the person managing your money must make decisions in your best interest. In general, fiduciary financial advisors tend to have fewer conflicts of interest, and they’re required to disclose any potential conflicts of interest that they have. Financial professionals who earn commissions may be incentivized to sell their own products even if there are comparable products available at a lower cost. Fiduciaries must seek the best prices and terms for their clients. Thus, if you work with a fiduciary you’re more likely to end up with the product or recommendation that’s truly right for you.


Margayya is again ruined through his son Balu. He had admitted him in school in great style, getting the blessing of his brother and sister-in-law next door. His wealth had made him become the Secretary of the School Managing Committee. This had armed him with enough power over the Headmaster and the School Staff. He had engaged a private tutor for his son and instructed him to thrash the boy whenever necessary. But Balu was not good in his studies. He could not clear his S.S.L.C. He tried to persuade him to take the examination for he second time. The result was that Balu seized the School Leaving Certificate Book, tore it into for quarters and threw them into the gutter the same gutter which closed its dark waters over Margayya's red account book, carried away the School Leaving Certificate Book. Then Balu ran away from home.
The suitability standard also allows these finance professionals to sell overpriced investment products on which they tend to make higher commissions rather than steering their clients towards lower-cost investment options. The advisor must only prove that the product is not unsuitable for their clients, and the product need not be in the client's best interests.
Beware of market-beating brags. Warren Buffet outperforms the market averages. There aren’t a lot of people like him. If you have an initial meeting with an adviser and you hear predictions of market-beating performance, get up and walk away. No one can safely make such guarantees, and anyone who’s trying may be taking risks that you don’t want to take.
Fiduciary duty is important for guiding the actions of the professionals who deal with clients’ money. It’s also important because, when violated, it provides an avenue for legal action. If a financial professional who isn’t a fiduciary has been knowingly selling you low-performing, high-fee investments, you don’t have the legal standing that you would have if the professional were a fiduciary.
The most commonly held professional designation is the certified financial planner (CFP®), which is owned and issued by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., a nonprofit certifying and standards-setting organization that administers the CFP exam. Certified financial planner is a formal credential of expertise in the areas of financial planning, taxes, insurance, estate planning, and retirement. The designation is awarded to individuals who successfully complete the CFP® Board’s initial exams, then engage in ongoing annual education programs to maintain their skills and certification.
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