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St. Louis Five Star award winner

What Is A Fiduciary?

The term "Fiduciary" generally pertains to the relationship between a client and the company or individual the client hires for financial advice and planning.  In a fiduciary relationship, the advisor has the obligation to act solely in the best interest of the client and put the client's interests ahead of those of the advisor and/or firm.  Generally, this includes undivided loyalty in advising and servicing the client as well as disclosing conflicts of interest and providing transparency of fees and compensation for the advice and services.  In the Financial Services Industry, more specifically, a Fiduciary is a firm or individual that is compensated for advice and services by the client and not by a third party, insurance company, broker-dealer, investment company, or product sale.

Examples of Fiduciaries may be found in physicians, attorneys, a trustee by title, or a Trust Department of a bank.  Examples of non-Fiduciaries are more likely found in brokers, registered representatives of an investment company, a bank representative or an insurance agent.  Typically, these individuals have a conflict of interest as they may also represent the priorities of the firms that compensate and employ them and they often have a contractual relationship with these employers.  Also, they may have a lower standard in defining their obligation in advising the client or they may only apply the term "fiduciary" to a specific product or service, but not to the overall client relationship.  A Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Professional may or may not be acting as a Fiduciary.

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*Winners appearing on this page do not pay a fee to be considered or to win the Five Star Award. Professionals with a digital profile have paid a promotional fee.
The Five Star Wealth Manager award, administered by Crescendo Business Services, LLC (dba Five Star Professional), is based on 10 objective criteria. Eligibility criteria – required: 1. Credentialed as a registered investment adviser or a registered investment adviser representative; 2. Actively licensed as a registered investment adviser or as a principal of a registered investment adviser firm for a minimum of 5 years; 3. Favorable regulatory and complaint history review (As defined by Five Star Professional, the wealth manager has not; A. Been subject to a regulatory action that resulted in a license being suspended or revoked, or payment of a fine; B. Had more than a total of three settled or pending complaints filed against them and/or a total of five settled, pending, dismissed or denied complaints with any regulatory authority or Five Star Professional’s consumer complaint process. Unfavorable feedback may have been discovered through a check of complaints registered with a regulatory authority or complaints registered through Five Star Professional’s consumer complaint process; feedback may not be representative of any one client’s experience; C. Individually contributed to a financial settlement of a customer complaint; D. Filed for personal bankruptcy within the past 11 years; E. Been terminated from a financial services firm within the past 11 years; F. Been convicted of a felony); 4. Fulfilled their firm review based on internal standards; 5. Accepting new clients. Evaluation criteria – considered: 6. One-year client retention rate; 7. Five-year client retention rate; 8. Non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; 9. Number of client households served; 10. Education and professional designations. Wealth managers do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Five Star Wealth Managers. Award does not evaluate quality of services provided to clients. Once awarded, wealth managers may purchase additional profile ad space or promotional products. The Five Star award is not indicative of the wealth manager’s future performance. Wealth managers may or may not use discretion in their practice and therefore may not manage their client’s assets. The inclusion of a wealth manager on the Five Star Wealth Manager list should not be construed as an endorsement of the wealth manager by Five Star Professional or this publication. Working with a Five Star Wealth Manager or any wealth manager is no guarantee as to future investment success, nor is there any guarantee that the selected wealth managers will be awarded this accomplishment by Five Star Professional in the future. For more information on the Five Star award and the research/selection methodology, go to 1681 St. Louis area wealth managers were considered for the award; 181 (11 percent of candidates) were named 2017 Five Star Wealth Managers. 2016: 1427 considered, 324 winners; 2015: 2194 considered, 358 winners; 2014: 1401 considered, 389 winners; 2013: 1726 considered, 485 winners; 2012: 1800 considered, 455 winners.