At Basepoint Wealth, we operate under the Fiduciary standard for advice on everything we do. This commitment to a higher standard of advice is at the core of how we work each and every day, and it is what sets us, and firms like us, apart from much of the financial services industry.
Much has been made in recent years regarding the need for more transparency on the part of financial advisors and their firms. This culminated in the 2016 creation of the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule, which, in part, attempted to establish a higher threshold for transparency on advisors working with client’s retirement savings.
While many had opinions regarding aspects of the Rule, or the fact that it came from the Department of Labor and not the SEC, the underlying goal was admirable: to force salespeople, brokers, and agents who want to call themselves “advisors” to act in the “best interests” of their clients – not themselves – when making investment recommendations. It was a laudable first step in forcing greater disclosure of commissions, sales charges, kick-backs, and other financial incentives that often encouraged brokers and agents to sell products or investments that offered greater financial reward for themselves, while masking the true costs to clients.
This topic is back in the headlines. This past week, on March 15th, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans struck down the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule, and the Department of Labor has stated they will not enforce the rule moving forward. The SEC has already announced it plans to pursue its own regulations to address this issue, including a look at restrictions on who can use terms like “advisor” in their title. We’ll certainly see and hear more about this topic in the days, weeks and months ahead.
In the meantime, we wanted to reaffirm our steadfast commitment to always operate under the Fiduciary standard, even if it may take a while for the regulators and other companies to catch up to what we’re doing. You can always count on your advisor at Basepoint Wealth placing your best interests first.
You can learn more about our guiding principles, and our commitment to the “fee-only” fiduciary-always model on our website.