If you choose to work with an investment advisor, wealth manager, financial planner, stock broker, retirement specialist, you name it, there really is only one question for you to ask up front. Are they held to a fiduciary standard or a suitability standard for all account types, not just IRAs? At Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. we’re held to the fiduciary standard (sign up for our monthly client letter here, free even for non-clients).
The difference between the two are night and day. You would think this topic would be crystal clear. It’s not. Most are held to a lower suitability standard. In other words: They don’t have to buy you the best, low cost product if they have one that is similar or suitable with higher fees.
Like any purchasing decision, you hire any of the above and trust that they do what’s right for you. Too often that is not what happens. If it were the case, annuities wouldn’t be the huge money making behemoth that they are. I am shocked at the product that gets stuffed into portfolios by the self-serving in this business.
You need to be vigilant and crystal clear on this subject. You want to work with a fiduciary—someone who is held to the highest standard.