Consumers are seeking fiduciaries, one who works in the best interest of the consumer with no consideration to themselves, in larger numbers than ever before. Why? People want to be confident the advice they receive from professionals is in their best interest. The financial industry and regulators are doing their best to deliver on that expectation. However, the result may make the landscape more confusing than before as there are varying levels of fiduciary responsibility within the industry. This variability makes it difficult for consumers to make an informed decision about hiring a financial advisor.
One level of responsibility is for Registered Investment Advisers who are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission in accordance with Section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. This act requires advisors disclose conflicts of interests with their clients when giving investment advice, but not when selling investment products or offering financial planning advice about other areas. A second level is the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new fiduciary standard for advice given to investors who hold retirement accounts like 401k plans and IRAs, but no other types of accounts like brokerages. In addition, title holders of certain designations from the CFP Board, CFA Institute, or NAPFA require fiduciary standards for its members.
Our firm has all the bases covered! As a fiduciary governed by the Securities Act of 1940, West Financial Advisors, LLC and its advisors are required to act in the best interest of our clients, even when it is against our own, at all times. Our team is comprised of professionals who hold membership with NAPFA and are certificate holders with the CFP Board and CFA Institute. All of these organizations require advice be in the best interest of our clients, for all areas of finance. Going a step further, our partners are both licensed Certified Public Accountants with the State of Iowa requiring tax advice that is in the best interest of our clients.
West Financial Advisors, LLC is an independent fee-only wealth management firm and receives no compensation from anyone else besides our clients. We believe that fee-only is the most suitable compensation method to ensure a client receives objective financial advice. The fee-only compensation method minimizes conflicts and ensures the client receives fiduciary advice in their best interests.
If you would like to learn more about our business model, or how we operate as fiduciaries for our clients, contact me and we will find a time to discuss.