Is Your Adviser Working in Your Best Interests?

6 Things Your Financial Adviser Doesn’t Want You to Know

Running out of money in retirement is one of the biggest risks, and fears, many investors face. Working your whole life to gather enough wealth for retirement is a tremendous undertaking. Choosing the right financial adviser for your retirement investments is vital.  

In order to make the best decision for you and your family, it is imperative you understand your financial landscape. Namely, the difference between Registered Investment Advisers (RIAs) and brokers.

MORE: Interested in market analysis for your portfolio? Our latest Stock Market Outlook looks at key stock market drivers including market, political, and economic factors. 

One is not necessarily better than the other. RIAs and brokers co-exist in the financial industry for good reason. However, one will better suit your lifestyle and your needs. Before you decide which, make sure you understand the difference, and what that could mean for your investments and your retirement.

The most common difference between an RIA and a broker is the conflict of interest disclosure. RIAs are legally required by the Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC) to put clients’ financial interests before their own, and disclose all possible conflicts of interest. Brokers adhere to a suitability standard, which means investments made on your behalf must be “suitable” to your needs.

Now, this doesn’t mean all brokers aim for “suitable” as opposed to “best interests,” but these are the SEC legal guidelines each group must adhere to. In order to make the best decision for you, your family and your portfolio, one must acknowledge these two standards.

Here are the 6 key differences between RIAs and Broker Dealers:


Fisher Investments

Broker Dealer

1. Fiduciary Standard Suitability Standard
2. Transparency Disclosure
3. Provide Advice and Investment Management Provide Product Advice and Transactions
4. Unaffiliated Third Parties Generally Hold Assets Assets Generally Held At the Same Company
5. Subject to the Code of Ethics Rule NOT Subject to the Code of Ethics Rule
6. Obligated to Disclose Conflicts of Interest NOT Obligated to Disclose Conflicts of Interest

Founded in 1979, Fisher Investments is an independent, privately-owned money management firm with tens of billions under management, serving a global client base of diverse investors, including over 150 large institutions and 27,000 high net worth individuals. In June 2015, Fisher Investments was named as one of Financial Times’ Top 300 US-based Registered Investment Advisers,** and our wholly-owned subsidiary, Fisher Investments UK, was recently recognized as ADVFN’s Wealth Manager of the Year