Published: Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 05:02 PM.

Investors Seek Fiduciary To Manage Portfolios

Arbor Wealth Utilizes Fiduciary, Fee-Only Model

We continue to hear more and more about the term ‘fiduciary’.  We asked Margaret McDowell, ChFC®, AIF® of Arbor Wealth Management what the term means relative to the investment advisory industry.

Question:  If an investor seeking a relationship with an advisor wants to work only with a fiduciary, how does he/she go about determining if the advisor is one?

Arbor Wealth:  Normally you can tell from a firm’s website, without having to call them and ask.  We have a “Fiduciary/Fee-Only” menu button on our website ( and a page devoted to those two terms and what they mean.  If a person seeking a relationship with an investment advisor is unsure if the advisor is a fiduciary, he/she should simply call and ask that one simple question:  “Are you a fiduciary?”  Or, if you want to know if your current advisor is serving as a fiduciary to you, simply ask them.

Question:  What does the term ‘fiduciary’ mean and what is its significance in the investment industry?

Arbor Wealth:  The Latin root is ‘fiduciarias’, meaning “something held in trust,” and of course with an investment advisor that means a client’s assets are entrusted to an advisor.  There are several working definitions, as the term is also utilized to describe the legal status of attorneys, CPA’s and certain other professionals.  In the investment advisory industry, a fiduciary is held to the highest standard of client care and has a legal, moral and ethical obligation in act in the client’s best interests. 

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