RIAs & IARs
Who are they? RIAs are Registered Investment Advisors (firms). These companies employ or license IARs (Investment Advisor Representatives) who market financial advice and services to investors like you.
Your Best Choice
You should limit your selection of a financial advisor to RIAs and IARs. This one decision will help you avoid Wall Street salesmen who sell financial products for commissions. 92.7% of investors have told Paladin they do not want salesmen investing their assets - in particular assets they are accumulating for their retirement years.
Advice & Services
Only RIAs and IARs can provide financial advice and ongoing financial services. Non-RIAs and IARs (salesmen) are not allowed to provide advice and services. Their licenses limit them to making sales recommendations when they sell investment products. Wall Street goes to great lengths to obscure the differences between real advice and sales recommendations.
RIAs and IARs are financial fiducaries. They are held to the highest ethical standards in the financial service industry. Regulations require them to put your financial interests ahead of their own. This eliminates a major conflict of interest that causes advisors to put their need for income ahead of your need to achieve your financial goals.
Fee for Service
Only RIAs and IARs are compensated with fees for their knowledge, advice, and services. Salesmen are compensated with commissions. You should pay fees to advisors for the same reason you pay fees to other professionals (CPAs, attorneys). You do not want third parties paying your financial advisor. You want objective advice you can trust.
If you want to keep it simple, limit your selection of a financial advisor to RIAs and IARs. You reduce your risk of selecting salesmen to be your financial advisor.