Protecting Your Interests
F is For Fiduciary
When we at Evans Law Firm use the “f word” we mean fiduciaries. Fiduciaries are those we trust to advise us about our money. In “Other People’s Money,” Justice Brandeis observed there are few duties stricter. Justice Cardozo wrote that fiduciaries act “not with honesty alone, but the punctilio of an honor the most sensitive.” More and more the financial world is catching up to what these legal Titans saw long ago: the need to hold financial advisors to the highest standard of conduct. We at Evans Law Firm applaud the change and combat exploitative financial practices against the public, securities fraud, and financial elder abuse all the time. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a breach of fiduciary duty, securities fraud or financial elder abuse, contact the Evans Law Firm securities and financial elder abuse attorneys at (415) 441-8669 and we can help. As California lawyers, we only handle these types of cases arising in California.
What This Means
Seek out financial advice from fiduciaries. A financial adviser who is a fiduciary is legally responsible for always giving advice that is in the customer’s best interest. A fiduciary cannot put their own interest above yours. A fiduciary must give you a full and fair disclosure of all material facts related to your investment, including the amount of the sales commission they may earn on your investment. This is particularly important in annuity sales where the commissions are high. When acting as a fiduciary, an advisor recommending an annuity cannot put his or her interest in the commission above what’s for you. Be careful here. Most annuity salesmen are not yet held to this higher standard so seek out independent professional advice if considering an annuity.
In any case, always ask whether your advisor is a fiduciary. Registered Investments Advisors (RIAs) are fiduciaries, but 80 percent to 85 percent of financial professionals out there are not. If your adviser is not a fiduciary, start a conversation, and let them know you expect to receive the same advice as if they were serving you as a fiduciary. A proposed Department of Labor rule will hold retirement plan advisors to a fiduciary standard but the Trump Administration is delaying implementation. In the meantime, however, the financial industry itself has begun to hold retirement and annuity advisors to the higher standard. That is an important development in the annuity and retirement plan industry and a great benefit to the public.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a breach of fiduciary duty, annuity or securities fraud or financial elder abuse in San Francisco County or anywhere in California or are headed to FINRA Arbitration, contact the Evans Law Firm securities attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with complex securities cases, arbitrations, and mediations; and complicated financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, other types of qui tam and whistleblower cases, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.