Many wealth management firms classify themselves as fiduciaries, but they don't always maintain the same definition or standards. We believe it’s important for clients to know exactly what a financial planner means when they say they're a fiduciary. Here’s what it means to us.
As a registered investment advisor and fiduciary financial advisor, Elwood & Goetz commits to the following ethical and legal obligations for all our clients:
- We will always put your best interests first.
- We will act in good faith, with prudence, transparency, and candor.
- We will never accept any compensation, commissions, kickbacks, referral fees, or other remuneration associated with the purchase or sale of a financial product.
- We will do our very best to avoid conflicts of interest that may impact you or reasonably compromise the impartiality of our advisory team; and when such conflicts are unavoidable, we will proactively provide written disclosure to you.
Although many financial planners use the term fiduciary in their marketing, only 2% of financial planning firms are legally required to always make optimal recommendations for their clients, according to a Wall Street Journal report. We are proudly among those 2%—by our choice and by our values.
Our Code of Ethics
Beyond the fiduciary principles listed above, we also strictly adhere to the following code of ethics, as outlined by the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors:
Objectivity: We strive to be as unbiased as possible in providing advice to clients, and we practice on a 100% fee-only basis. That means our success is measured exclusively by our clients' success.
Confidentiality: We keep all client data private unless authorization is received from the client to share it. Relations with clients are kept private.
Competence: We strive to maintain a high level of knowledge and ability through continuing education, research, and professional designations. We will not provide advice in areas where we are not capable. We always seek the top talent in the financial planning profession, and our advisory team is among the most educated and accredited in the country.
Fairness & Suitability: Dealings and recommendations with clients will be in the client’s best interests. We put our clients first — always.
Integrity & Honesty: In all actions, we will be mindful that in addition to serving our clients, we are about the business of building a profession, and our actions will reflect this. We see financial planning as what it should be — a helping profession. Financial planning is our passion, and by advancing the profession, we’re advancing our clients, too.
Regulatory Compliance: We will maintain conformity with legal regulations.
Full Disclosure: We will fully describe method of compensation and potential conflicts of interest to clients and also specify the total cost of investments.
To put it in the most straightforward terms: we work for you.
As an independent firm and fiduciary agent, every decision we make is made with our clients' best interests in mind. That means you’ll always get objective advice rooted in academic research, evidence-based results, and economic indicators.
Because we’re 100% fee-only, we will never accept commissions or kickbacks for recommending specific investment funds and insurance products.
Our fee-only structure and fiduciary responsibility strengthen our client-first commitment and ensure that our success is measured only by yours. Deep to our core, we believe this is the best way, the right way, and for us, it’s the only way.
If you're thinking of working with a fiduciary financial advisor, we'd welcome the opportunity to talk with you and share how we can bring more order to your financial plan and help you achieve your best life possible.