Not All Financial Advisors are Created Equal

If we remember back to elementary school and learning about the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote in the opening of the second paragraph, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” In this case, his usage of the term, “men” is meant to include all people, anywhere on the planet. So, you could replace “men” with “women” or “children.” Unfortunately, we have discovered that you cannot replace it with the term “financial advisor” and that’s, like the title of this blog post says, not all financial advisors are created equal.

The term financial advisor is often, in my humble opinion, over-used and not exactly understood by even the people using it. There is no official definition for a financial advisor. According to the internet, aka Google, the definition of a financial advisor is, “a person who is employed to provide financial services or guidance to clients.” Unfortunately, there are a few things missing in this definition, so I decided to write my own, and you’ll have to let me know which you think is better. So, according to Jeff, the definition of a financial advisor is, “a person from whom a client seeks advice and to whom a client entrusts their financial security and well-being, for the betterment of the client’s financial situation.” Do you notice the difference between the dictionary’s definition and mine? It’s the addition of the concept of “keeping the clients interest in mind.”

Everyday I’m tasked with the opportunity and responsibility to help my clients make decisions about their financial futures. It is not something I take lightly. My clients put their faith in me to give them guidance and advice. A few times during my career, when giving recommendations, I have been asked, “If your parents were sitting across the table from you, would you be making the same recommendation?” 100% of the time the answer was yes. Do I get paid for the services I offer to my clients? Yes. Am I up front about the costs/fees my clients will incur? Also yes! Does how much I get paid play a part in what products or services I recommend? Never. How much I earn is an afterthought. It is the result of doing what I believe is right and in my clients interest.

The independence I have at Cornerstone Asset Management and my affiliation with LPL Financial allows me to only focus on what is right. I don’t have a regional manager telling me how to run my business. I don’t start the year with a quota that I have to meet. I’m not trying to earn a free trip to a tropical destination by selling a specified amount of products. I start each year with the goal of improving the lives of the people I am around. Whether it is a client looking to retire, a friend needing help, or a family member in distress, I want to help you get to a better spot. Call or contact me at Cornerstone Asset Management when you are ready to discuss your financial future with someone who is focused on your best interests.

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