The difference between the fiduciary standard and the suitability standard is a tough concept to grasp. It is important in regards to the level of care and legal responsibility that an advisor is required to provide each client.
One of the most important relationships between a client and his financial advisor is the standard of care that an advisor owes to his client. While everyone can provide a legal definition of the two standards, understanding the distinctions and slight nuances between them and how they actually apply to each specific client relationship takes some work.
What does this mean in practice?
- Someone who owes you a fiduciary responsibility should put your interests above their own
- Someone who owes you a fiduciary responsibility should try to minimize fees
- Someone who owes you a fiduciary responsibility should avoid any conflicts of interest and fully disclose any other material conflicts
You need to understand this
I would recommend that you “Google” the two standards above to learn more about this important distinction and what you should expect from your advisor. I have gone ahead and attached a couple of links to two articles that I think do a good job at highlighting some of the differences.