According to Dan Moisand, managing partner at Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo, the Florida fee-only financial planning and wealth management firm, more and more clients and prospects are asking about a ‘fiduciary duty.’ “And even better,” reports Moisand, those clients and prospects “understand what it means: financial advice in their best interest.”
While that’s very good news for independent RIA firms, they still face the challenge of explaining their fiduciary responsibilities in non-legalese that resonates with clients. As part of their strategy to meet this challenge, Winter Park, Florida-based MFT has become one of the first firms to sign on to the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard’s new Best Practices Affirmation Program, twelve practice standards for delivering bona fide fiduciary financial advice.
“It’s pretty clear that things are not going to get less confusing for the public, and that the government doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it,” said Moisand. “The Best Practice Standards make it easy to demonstrate what our firm is all about. We’re just stating publicly that we do things we are already doing. It’s a good step in the direction of creating a true profession of financial advisors.”
To explain the best practices and his firm’s approach to taking care of its clients, Moisand created a video for the firm’s website described as “how we show our undivided loyalty to our clients.” The video’s title says it all: “The Key to Professionalism: Investors, the markets, and advisors need Best Practices to fulfill a fiduciary promise: A promise to defend, protect, and serve investors first.”
It’s the best example that I’ve seen for how to explain and ‘sell’ a fiduciary duty to one’s clients. Here’s a transcript of the video: