HighTower Advisors has created a great video comparing investment brokers with fiduciaries.
A broker is someone who takes a fee in exchange for executing a transaction. They provide a service in return for compensation. For the most part, a broker is not a fiduciary. However, brokers – depending on where they reside, professional qualifications, company, regulatory oversight, etc. – may have certain duties of care to their clients.
A fiduciary is someone with a legal duty of care to the client. It is more than simply executing transactions. More as if the fiduciary steps into your shoes to try and best meet your needs.
It is an important distinction. Make certain that you always know whether you are dealing with a fiduciary or not. I am not saying never to deal with a non-fiduciary. Only that you know the difference between the two. And, if appropriate, take steps to safeguard your best interests over those of your representative (agent, banker, broker, financial planner, etc.).
Now to the HighTower video. (more…)