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Registered Investment Advisor: Why This Distinction Matters

We are often asked the question, “What makes you different?” There are many things that set us apart from our competitors, but there is also an official distinction we hold over the majority of other financial advisors. For more than 35 years, Financial Synergies Wealth Advisors has been structured as a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA).

This means we are completely independent and objective when making investment or financial planning recommendations to our clients. We are paid directly by our clients on a fee-only basis, and receive no commissions. Our portfolio management decisions are driven by:  our clients’ goals, our disciplined investment philosophy, and risk management. We are not compelled, nor do we benefit from any transaction-based compensation.

Our goal as a Registered Investment Advisor is to develop personal relationships with our clients, and help them find solutions that are aligned with their needs and objectives. We do not owe allegiance to any particular brokerage firm, financial product, fund family, or investment. We have the freedom to make unbiased, prudent investment decisions for our clients; and we do.

Here are some of the typical RIA characteristics you should find important:

  • RIAs have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of their clients.
  • RIAs use institutional custodians (like Charles Schwab) to hold and safeguard their clients’ investments.
  • Most independent RIAs are owned by the individual advisors who run them.
  • Many independent RIAs provide advice and services for a fee, based on a percentage of the client’s assets.
  • RIA firms are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and are subject to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, making RIAs some of the most highly regulated entities in the financial industry.
  • RIAs work with complex portfolios and address unique needs that require a highly customized level of investment expertise.
  • Generally, RIAs have relationships with a variety of firms who assist with tax planning, estate planning, insurance needs and more. These affiliations allow us to help our clients with complex financial needs.

For more information please contact us today!

-Mike Minter, CFP®, CFS®

Mike Minter

As Chief Investment Officer, Mike directs the overall investment strategy, develops portfolio allocations, oversees trading and rebalancing, and conducts research and analysis. As a perpetual student of investing and the markets, Mike considers himself obsessed with the subject. He has earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) and Certified Fund Specialist® designations. He is also an active member of the Houston chapter of the Financial Planning Association (FPA).   Read Mike’s Profile HereRead More Articles by Mike

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