Fiduciary vs Suitability Standard for Financial Advisors

As an independent Registered Investment Advisory firm, SCHWARZ DYGOS WHEELER INVESTMENT ADVISORS operates under the Fiduciary Standard. That means we have an obligation to use our expertise to act in the best interest of our clients. 

A Fiduciary represents the client, not the money management firm.

Conversely, most financial advisors generally operate under the Suitability Standard. The Suitability Standard does not entail the same care and responsibility required of the Fiduciary Standard. It only requires an advisor to make sure investments are “suitable.” 

The advisor represents the money management firm, not the client.


The Institute for The Fiduciary Standard has outlined six key duties that embody an investment fiduciary’s responsibility:

  • serve the client’s best interest
  • act in utmost good faith
  • act prudently – with the care, skill and judgment of a professional
  • avoid conflicts of interest
  • disclose all material facts
  • control investment expenses

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