The AIF® Designation signifies specialized knowledge of fiduciary responsibility and the ability to implement policies and procedures that meet a defined standard of care. The designation is the culmination of a rigorous training program, which includes a comprehensive, closed-book final examination under the supervision of a proctor, and agreement to abide by the Center’s Code of Ethics and Conduct Standards. On an ongoing basis, completion of continuing education and adherence to the Code of Ethics and Conduct Standards are required to maintain the AIF® Designation.
Below are 5 Reasons we believe you should hire an advisor with the AIF®.
They are Organized
An advisor with their AIF® organizes their business to minimize conflicts of interest. The investment advisor identifies material conflicts of interest and avoids or manages conflicts in a manner consistent with the duty of loyalty. Agreements under the supervision of the investment advisor are in writing and do not contain provisions that conflict with fiduciary obligations.
They Formalize a Plan
The advisor will formalize a plan that will identify the time horizon, appropriate risk, projected cash flows, and asset classes. The plan is usually condensed into a formal Investment Policy Statement.
They Implement an Agreed upon Plan
The advisor will strictly follow the formalized plan and make changes as necessary according to the Investment Policy Statement. Decisions regarding investment strategies and types of investments are made in accordance with fiduciary obligations and are documented. If any changes are needed that are not in the Investment Policy Statement, the Policy Statement will be amended and signed by the client.
They Monitor and Make Changes
The key to monitoring is to have consistent periodic reviews.
- Investment Performance against the appropriate market or peer group
- Qualitative and/or organizational changes to investment managers and other service providers
- Investment related fees, compensation, and expenses are fair and reasonable
- Review one’s own organization and their effectiveness in meeting fiduciary responsibilities
An Accredited Investment Fiduciary® will monitor and make necessary changes to make sure that the client receives the best available services.
They Have Agreed to Abide by a Stricter Code of Ethics
The advisor will have agreed to be held to a stricter code of ethics than an average advisor and may even be audited from time to time. This doesn’t guarantee better returns or a better experience, but should help give investors confidence in their chosen advisor
As advisors, we sell “trust”, this may be trust in the advisor, trust in the process or anything between. At Mills Wealth, we believe these 5 reasons above should help an investor feel at peace or trust that their advisor is acting as a fiduciary and doing what is in their best interest at all times.
Stephen Nelson is a partner and VP of Retirement Plans at the firm holding both his CFP® and AIF®.