August 24, 2010
If an investor is paying a fee to an investment adviser to manage all or a portion of an investment portfolio, that person should be held to a fiduciary standard that the investment is suitable and in accordance with the signed written agreement by both parties.
If an investor is only paying for services as a broker, be it a fee or commission, than the adviser should only be responsible for full disclosure of the facts and not be held to a fiduciary standard since the investor is ultimately responsible for agreeing to purchase the investment.
The Investor should expect a higher fiduciary standard if discretion for the investment is delegated to the financial adviser.
The distinction should be made whether discretion is or is not delegated by the investor and the written agreement by both parties.