Recently I was on the phone with a good friend who has his investment account elsewhere. Given what he was trying to do with his investments, I could tell that another advisory firm would be the better fit for him, even though telling him so precluded me from making any money.
That is what it means to follow the fiduciary standard. The fiduciary standard requires that we put the interests of our clients ahead of our own.
And you’re thinking… “Duh.”
It isn’t like we invented this standard in recent history either. In the first century, Paul of Tarsus wrote, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind, let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4. And of course, Paul stole the idea from Jesus, who said that the second greatest commandment (inseparable from the first, to love God), is “to love your neighbor as yourself.”
The origins of the fiduciary standard go well back before this industry started obsessing over it. And since we believe we will be held to account for every word spoken and deed done, we take seriously our commitment to act solely in the best interests of our client, period.