The Fiduciary Standard includes the principles of objectivity, suitability, full disclosure and following fiduciary principles in acting in investors' best interest.
Given the subjectivity of these principles it may be difficult for the average investor to determine whether their advisors are fulfilling the fiduciary standard. The simplest method is to explore the details of the advisor's advisory process. Interestingly, while many advisors may be appropriately registered to be able to provide services under the fiduciary standard, many of them specifically pass the investment decision making process and other activities to third parties or to back-office personnel. This responsibility deferral displaces advisors from the position of knowing what truly is happening in their investors' portfolios.
The disciplinedIQ Answer:
An appropriately established process will provide for the consistent application of the above-listed principles. Consider the following highlights of disciplinedIQ.
Objectivity - The disciplinedIQ process selects from thousands of available investment options using a highly selective set of fiduciary criteria. The process is not confined to, nor in practice does it appear to be confined to, proprietary or "preferred" investment options as it is rarely possible to maintain objectivity in this environment.
Suitability - The disciplinedIQ process utilizes several specialized tools (such as Investor Investment Objective Questionnaires and Investment Policy Statements) to establish and continually evaluate investment objective suitability as well as for the formalization of the investment plan. This documentation of investor objectives and expectations establishes an appropriate foundation for the management of the investor's portfolio.
Full Disclosure - Not only does the disciplinedIQ process include full disclosure of all expenses, but it also provides full transparency of its investment evaluation results and market and economic evaluation results in a highly detailed monthly report. In this way, our management efforts are clearly and consistently visible to investors.
Fiduciary Knowledge and Practices - The three most senior members of the disciplinedIQ Investment Advisory Committee have all earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (or AIF®) professional designation from Fiduciary 360 for their formal training in investment fiduciary responsibility and knowledge of fiduciary principles and practices. Also, all committee members actively participate in the portfolio management decision process knowing exactly why all actions are taken in portfolios because they are intimately involved in the decision-making process.
An important note is that while advisors act in a fiduciary capacity as to acting in investors' best interests, they do not act as fiduciaries over client accounts.
This fiduciary practice foundation ties the rest of the Key Management Principles together.
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