I recently received an email from a financial planner who “felt he had to respond” to my writing about what it means to be a fiduciary. As a licensed insurance agent and registered rep, he repeated the usual rationalizations about why it’s “better for the client” to be charged a commission (while side stepping the apparently minor technicality that their “advisor” doesn’t actually work for them). And he even came up with a new one: it’s his fiduciary duty to be an agent, because no one can handle his clients’ insurance needs as well as he can. Kudos for creativity, if nothing else.
Yet, his lengthy tome (why do defenders of commissions always write gothic novels about it?) eventually got around to an interesting point (kudos to me for reading that far). To wit: A fee-only planner on a call-in radio show refused to help a widow buy Treasury bonds by saying his fee would be too high.