At Bāzis Young, we operate under a fiduciary standard of care. That means your personal financial interests come before ours. We don’t try to sell you financial products that might be ‘suitable’ for you in order to make big commissions for ourselves. While other money managers might be incentivized to do business that way, we chose to structure our firm differently. To us, being a fiduciary is more than just a standard of care — it is at the very heart of the way we do business.
A fiduciary is someone who is required to act in the best interests of another person at all times within the scope of their relationship. It is a duty that requires an unusually high degree of care, and is based upon the trust a client puts in an investment advisor to do the best thing for the client. Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) are held to this heightened standard of care, and are required to register with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the states they operate in, depending upon how much money the RIA has under management.
But not all folks who offer financial advice are fiduciaries. Often times in the investment world, one encounters all sorts of “advisors” and “brokers” and “financial advisors” with an alphabet soup of accreditations like CHFC, CFP, CFA, or CIMA behind their name. In many cases, those who do business under such titles are not held to a fiduciary standard of care.
More often than not, brokers who hold themselves out as offering financial advice to you are not necessarily required to act in your best interests. In fact, they may even be allowed to put their interests before yours—as long as they can cobble together a reason why an investment would be “suitable” for you. This is called a ‘suitability standard’, and it is a much lesser degree of care than the fiduciary standard that an RIA is held to.
In our view the truth is, most brokers and other financial advisors earn sales commissions for selling you various financial products. As a result, some of them have a strong incentive to recommend products to you that aren’t necessarily in your best interest—but that very well may earn them a big payday.
If you want your money manager to put your financial interests before their own, then hiring an RIA is a good start. This cadre of advisors are duty-bound to put your interests before their own. However, not all RIAs are the same, and what will be right for you will most likely depend upon your personal situation and preferences.
You will want to go over and know what the RIA’s investment philosophies are, how they are compensated, what their fee structure is, whether or not they sell commission-based products, and any potential conflicts of interest that may exist. These and other personal questions you may have about the process are a good way to make sure the RIA is set up to meet your needs.
What matters the most in the relationship you have with your money manager is trust. It is a matter that we don’t take lightly, and neither should you.
That is one reason why Bāzis Young has fully embraced the fiduciary standard of care since the beginning—we can see no reason to do business any other way than what it is in our clients’ best interests. It would be difficult to trust a financial professional that might be recommending products to you that aren’t in your best interest in order to earn commissions for themselves.
Bāzis Young doesn’t have that problem. We are a fee-only advisor, which means we don’t earn commissions by constantly trading in your account. We have no incentive to earn commissions by “keeping your money in motion” as they say. While some brokers may call to sell you a product and make a sales commission, we only place trades in your account based on our investment methodology. Your interests and financial well-being come first with us.
Another way we help ensure transparency in our client relationships is by housing our clients’ assets with third-party custodians. Bāzis Young does not have custody of our clients’ assets. That means a third party will also be able to provide independent reports on your accounts, so you can be sure that we mean what we say.
Our approach is as individual as it is personal. As a client of Bāzis Young, you will have access to investment counsel who knows your financial situation, knows what your long-term objectives are, and knows the pace you are comfortable with to advance upon those objectives. You will have access to over 40 years of investment experience to ask any questions you might have about your personal portfolio, market performance, economic conditions, and the way ahead. Your investment counsel will contact you on a regular basis to brief you on any new developments, and to make sure your investment objectives and personal situation haven’t changed.
We choose to do business as a fiduciary under a heightened standard of care for a reason. Most financial professionals choose not to. By choosing Bāzis Young Investment Group, you can confidently advance ahead knowing that the investment advice you receive and the way your money is being managed puts your interests first. To learn more about how we do things, contact us today.