Back in 2013, University of Chicago social scientist Harold Pollack asserted that you can fit all the financial advice you’ll ever need on a single index card. The result was a photo of nine pieces of advice that he squeezed onto one 3×5 index card. The photo went viral and Pollack wrote a book about it: The Index Card: Why Personal Advice Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated.
It’s a really interesting concept – forcing you to choose what’s most important and also discarding other things that might seem important, but in reality, maybe you shouldn’t worry too much about.
So this week, I’ll borrow a couple of Pollack’s ideas and share with you a few of my own. Let’s get into it!
RULE #1: Fiduciary Standards
Rule #1, which is borrowed from Pollack’s list: Make your financial advisor commit to a fiduciary standard.
- Is required to put their client’s interest ahead of their own
- Avoids conflicts of interest
- Cannot accept commissions
- Is generally held to the highest standard possible
The reality is that the vast majority of financial advisors are NOT fiduciaries, and that’s a problem for consumers. When your advisor doesn’t act as a fiduciary, you better make sure you trust your advisor to do the right thing – navigating this is a mine field.
Non-fiduciary advisors who sell insurance and different mutual fund products, have disordered incentives to sell you something that will pay them more… but may not be in your best interest.
Be sure that if you’re interviewing an advisor, you ask if they are always acting as a fiduciary and make sure to get that in writing. I strongly believe in the fiduciary standard for all advisors. I don’t think we’ll get there until more consumers are aware of the differences, and demand that their advisor be a fiduciary in all circumstances- at all times!
To learn more about my top 6 money rules, be sure to listen and subscribe to the One Minute Retirement Tip wherever you listen to podcasts!