At Paradigm, you’ll only work with an independent advisor. Why is that important?
Independent advisors only answer to YOU. Being independent means there are no quotas, sales goals, corporate bosses to please. The only person that Paradigm is interested in understanding and helping is you, the client. As an independent fiduciary, Paradigm advisors are mandated to put client needs and wishes first. Not all advisors/ agents have this mandate, but Paradigm holds the fiduciary standard as the highest regard. It’s important to know that independent RIAs have the responsibility to search the industry for the BEST suited products and plans for the client. This is why, at Paradigm, we are constantly scrutinizing the products and services we recommend and compiling only the best options for you. It takes more time to customize every plan, but we respect the independence and individuality of each of our clients. We take time to listen to your concerns and goals, get to know you, and then recommend more than one option, so you have the freedom and flexibility to be a partner in the decision-making process.
How is an independent advisor different?
It can be easy to assume that independent advisors might have fewer options because they’re a smaller company, they have less capital and therefore have less availability. Why wouldn’t a larger company have more options than the locally-owned company, Paradigm? The reality of the industry is this- bigger firms are led by Chief Investment Officers who make the decisions for investment for the majority of the entire firm. So, whether you work with a large company advisor in Kansas, Washington, or Florida, they all are recommending the same products or service to you that was designed by their CIO. Really, it becomes an exercise in quantity versus quality. Now, if you have a large account, over $1 million or $2 million, you can probably get any portfolio you want, but their standard recommendations are the same for thousands of clients across the country. And they’re probably invested in their own Mutual Funds or ETFs. An independent advisor can be flexible in their investing choices, so at Paradigm, we spend time interviewing and meeting with money managers from across the country to find the best and most competitive services and rates. Being independent also means having the flexibility to find the best insurance products. If you’re a captive agent, you are obligated to only sell your company’s products, but being independent means choosing the best insurance product across dozens of carriers depending on the client’s need.
What does being a fiduciary mean?
A fiduciary is a licensed advisor who is mandated to put the client’s interests ahead of their own. Believe it or not, there are lots of financial professionals who do not have this mandate. There is a suitability requirement for many advisors/ brokers that means finding an investment recommendation that is suitable for the client; this could entail their age, investing objectives, etc. But the increased responsibility to put the client’s needs ahead of their own is not included. There is an opportunity to find a product that could be suitable for the client but in the best interest of the advisor. For example, they could suggest a product with a higher fee, which could be suitable because it meets the client’s objectives. But the advisor makes a higher fee even though there is a comparable product that would charge the client less. This is still fairly commonplace in the industry, so please ask your financial advisor if they have a fiduciary or suitability standard. Paradigm advisors are fiduciary and will disclose any and all fees or commission before you decide to invest or buy a product, so you know up front. See this short clip from Tony Robbins explaining fiduciary: