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The Fiduciary DUty

The highest standard.

What is a Fiduciary?

By definition, a fiduciary is “a person who has the power and the obligation to act for another under circumstances which require total trust, good faith and honesty.” Fiduciaries are required to act in your best interest, regardless of what they stand to gain or lose.

Many assume that all financial advisors are fiduciaries. But, sadly, this couldn’t be further from the truth as financial professionals act under two very distinct sets of guidelines. The fact is, some advisors are fiduciaries while others are not, and it’s often difficult to tell them apart.

The Fiduciary Duty

Fiduciary care embodies the highest standard of excellence and requires certain core duties. As a fiduciary, we at the Gleason Group are required by law to perform the following duties:

  • Serve your best interest first. We put your best interest first…always.
  • Act in utmost good faith. We adopt your goals as ours and clearly communicate with you both orally and in writing.
  • Act prudently. We act with the care, skill and judgement of a professional. We maintain continual education and the skills required to properly advise you.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest. If a conflict exists, we disclose the conflict and explain how it will be managed to your benefit.
  • Fully disclose material facts. We provide a clear statement of fees and investment expenses.
  • Control investment expenses We keep costs low so you keep more of what you earn.

The Suitability Standard

In contrast, a stockbroker is any person engaged in the business of effecting transactions for the account of others. When the broker recommends to buy or sell a particular security, he or she must have only a reasonable basis for believing that the recommendation is “suitable” for you. In making the assessment, your broker must consider your income and net worth, investment objectives, risk tolerance and other security holdings.

Brokers may go by different titles, but regardless of their titles, stockbrokers are generally not considered to have a fiduciary duty to you. Instead of being obligated to put your interests ahead of their own, brokers are only expected to deal fairly with you and provide suitable options. Ultimately brokers represent the “issuer” or dealer where a fiduciary advisor represents you.

Our Fiduciary Duty

Traditional Broker The Gleason Group
To Serve Client Interest First no yes
To Act in Utmost Good Faith no yes
To Avoid Conflicts of Interest no yes
To Act Prudently no yes
To Fully Disclose Material Facts no yes
To Control Investment Expenses no yes
3(21) & 3(38) Services to Retirement Plans no yes
Is your advisor a fiduciary?