MarketWatch: Is your adviser working in your best interests?

Lisa Hay, CPA, president and founder of Ascend Financial, LLC, shares the benefits of fiduciary financial advice and the most accurate way to tell if the adviser you are considering is acting in your best interest.

Excerpt: Many consumers are beginning to realize the benefit of fee-only fiduciary financial advice, but they don’t know how to tell if the adviser they are considering is actually fee-only. If you are smart enough to realize that working with a fiduciary is very important, and that how your adviser is compensated matters, read on.

A fiduciary is a person or entity who has been placed in a high standard of trust. A financial adviser fiduciary has the legal responsibility and liability to place your interests first — ahead of their own.

Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) are fiduciaries and are legally bound to place a client’s best interest above the firm’s. While you might think all financial service providers are fiduciaries, most aren’t. For example Brokers are not. (Brokers are sometimes referred to as Registered Reps — not to be confused with Registered Investment Advisors.)

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