All Registered Investment Advisors (RIA’s) are regulated as Fiduciaries and are required by law to always act in the Best Interest of their clients. They are also required to provide Full Disclosure, in writing, of their experience, investment strategy, business practices, any disciplinary actions and their fees. Brokers, financial planners, insurance agents and other firms that are not fiduciaries do not currently have to provide these disclosures and are only required to recommend investments that are Suitable.
An investment that charges the investor a commission when they invest or has high annual trailing fees and expenses might be considered Suitable but an investment in the Same Market Sector that has No Upfront Commission, No Trailing Fees, Lower Annual Expenses and has had Better Performance for Investors over many different time periods would truly be in the Best Interest of the investor.
Brokers and Insurance agents can have serious conflicts because of the way they are paid and rewarded with trips, bonuses, and titles. The goal of the fiduciary standard is to eliminate these Conflicts of Interest between the investor and their advisor. If the person recommending an investment is paid by their parent company and not by the investor, they are a salesperson for their firm and can be under pressure to increase commissions and fees. Salespeople are often Rewarded Based On How Much They Make For Their Firm Not For The Investor. It is difficult for any salesperson to give Unbiased Advice if they are Paid More For Selling Expensive Investments.
TD Ameritrade institutional (TDAI) is the custodian for all investor accounts. TDAI does not offer any Incentives to recommend specific investments or achieve Commission Quotas. PTI does not use 3rd party investment managers and does not receive Sales Commissions, Trailing Fees, Trips or Prizes from any firm. Since PTI is an Independent Advisory Practice there is never any type of pressure from senior management.