Working With Vantage as a Fiduciary Registered Investment Advisor (3 min. read)
What is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA)?
A Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) is an individual financial advisor or a company that provides its clients with financial advice. Unlike other types of financial advisors, RIAs have a fiduciary duty to act in your best interests.
RIAs have a fiduciary duty to their clients. This means at Vantage, we are legally bound, and always obligated, to act in your best financial interest (putting your interests ahead of our own) and to utilize competitively priced investments (funds, products, strategies, etc.) that fit your needs and align with your unique financial plan. Some advisors operate under a lesser standard known as the ‘suitability standard’ which only requires that an investment be ‘suitable’ for a client. These advisors are not required to disclose potential conflicts of interest or for example, make a client aware of lower cost or more tax-efficient alternatives.
An RIA is registered with federal (the Securities and Exchange Commission – SEC) or state regulatory agencies to provide investment advice (Vantage is Federally registered). SEC and state regulation helps ensure RIAs serve your interests as fiduciaries. In addition, you can research any complaints against them on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.
RIAs provide more than just investment advice. At Vantage, we are not only investment advisors, but we are also fiduciary financial planners. Therefore, we go beyond investment advice and advise on an array of topics that are part of your family’s financial life. This includes retirement planning, estate planning, cash flow management, educational planning, tax strategies, insurance and risk management, business succession planning, and more.
People of all financial backgrounds may benefit from RIAs. Vantage is equipped to help people at all stages of life whether you are a young adult beginning your career, an established professional looking toward retirement or a retiree that is in the distribution stage.
We are bound to a fiduciary standard that was established as part of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. (Spelling of “Advisor” and “Adviser” are interchangeable, both are accurate.) This act specifically defines what being a fiduciary means; it stipulates a duty of loyalty and care. In buying securities, for instance, the advisor cannot buy for their account prior to purchasing them for a client; and the advisor is prohibited from making trades that may result in higher commissions. (Vantage is a Fee-Only RIA so we cannot be compensated through commissionable trades.) A fiduciary advisor must place trades under the “best execution” standard – striving to trade with the best combination of low cost and efficient execution. This also means that the advisor must do their best to make sure investment advice and analysis is made using accurate and complete information.
RIAs offer more tailored advice and services. At Vantage, we focus on getting to know you and your priorities. We believe that this goes hand in hand with the fiduciary standard, and that with this deep understanding of your unique situation, we can build a plan that works throughout every stage of your life. We are committed to protecting your time and best interest by helping you navigate real-life questions and execute solutions through an ongoing tailored advising relationship.
We hope that working with Vantage as your fiduciary advisor offers you peace of mind. We are here to help you and to provide unbiased recommendations and expert advice based on your goals, risk tolerance, and investing timeline – fitting it all together for now, and for your future.