by Lisa Toews-Daugherty
In my family, the four letter f-word is FINE, short for Feelings Inside Not Expressed. It’s the answer I get to almost any question I ask our daughters – How was school? Fine. How was practice? Fine. Tell me about your day. It was fine. How do you like the 5-layer chocolate cake I made from scratch with 100% organic ingredients just because I love you? It’s fine, thanks? Drives me crazy. I now preface questions with “the f-word is not an acceptable answer here,” to which I will get any number of synonyms – OK, acceptable, tolerable (insert long parental sigh).
The f-word at BBG Financial Planning is a different kind of mantra – one that starts a conversation, not ends it. The f-word is not financial – as in financial planning – as you may assume. It’s fiduciary. As in, how are we fulfilling the duties we owe our clients today? How can we best serve you? What is the right thing to do? A new SEC rule called “Regulation Best Interest”, which went into effect in June 2020 establishes a best interest standard for broker-dealers and increases transparency for their clients because we believe you would be surprised how many financial professionals may not take this client-centric approach.
What does it mean to be a fiduciary? It’s an even higher standard than acting in a client’s best interest and it is the standard to which BBG Financial Planning has always operated. It means we place your interests above our own – both personally and as a firm. We disclose fees, present alternatives to how you can achieve your investment goals, and avoid conflicts of interest. We exercise care, skill, prudence, and diligence in light of your goals, risk tolerance, objectives, and financial and personal circumstances. We act with integrity.
When you are out at a party (someday – for now maybe a Zoom call) and someone asks you about your financial advisor, we don’t want you to use the four letter f-word – BBGFP is fine. Rather, we would like you to say with pride, BBGFP is my fiduciary.