There's a certain level of complexity to the fiduciary rule conversation. And the will-it-or-won't-it-come-to-fruition aspect of the rule adds another layer to navigate. While it's high stakes for even the novice investor, worrying about the outcome of the rule should not be the main concern. Instead, understanding what the fiduciary standard means and why it matters should be what is most important to the investor.
The good news is that the fiduciary rule conversation creates a timely opportunity to ask the right questions of your financial advisor and to find out if your financial success is priority No. 1.
In the advisor/investor relationship, trust is paramount. Life, as we all know, can happen fast. Decisions you made about your family finances 10 years ago, one year ago or even last week might be moot or unrealistic at this very moment. That "trust" needs ongoing TLC and can be as simple as a two-way conversation with your advisor.
Think about this for a moment: When was the last time you called your advisor, or your advisor called you, to discuss any changes in your life?
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If it was yesterday, congratulations. If it's been a while, you aren't alone. But now is the perfect time. You should feel empowered to have a conversation with your advisor that doesn't directly reference "money." The fiduciary standard revolves around your best interests as an investor. And your best interests should be more than just your 401(k) balance.
There are three simple questions to ask your advisor to better understand why the fiduciary rule matters to you, your investments and your family's future.
Question #1: How (and how often) will you communicate with me?
This conversation is long overdue. Tell me how my best interests will be ensured every step of the way. Learn from your advisor how he or she will meet with you and how often you can expect to have a conversation. Discover more about the team of financial professionals who surround your advisor, and ensure that you have direct access to them as well.
It is important they provide that fiduciary obligation across your entire financial life cycle —protection, accumulation, disbursement and legacy.