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Dear 'Financial Consultant': Do You Really Act in My 'Best Interests'?
Ron A. Rhoades, JD, CFPLink to more items from this source
June 18, 2015
['Conflict of interest' questions, in the form of a letter to a financial consultant.] "Can you answer these questions for me? Also, can you put your answers in writing? ... [1] Do you possess the legal obligation to act in my 'best interests'? ... [2] With respect to each conflict of interest you may possess ... please explain to me how you have, in the past, ensured that you have observed [listed] procedures to properly manage each conflict of interest in order to ensure that no harm comes to me: ... [3] With respect to each conflict of interest you may possess ... is each transaction you recommended that I undertake ... also 'substantively fair' to me, as is required under a true fiduciary 'best interests' standard? ... [4] What are the total fees and costs associated with each investment product I have purchased as a result of your recommendations.... [5] Please set forth the compensation received by your firm as a result of any recommendation from you which I have implemented.... [6] Please also set forth whether you received any material compensation as a result of your recommendations to me."

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