Have you ever been to a butcher shop? Tony is my butcher. He works for the best meat purveyor in town. When I go into his shop, the smells of Italian herbs and marinated olives draw me in. Rows and rows of meticulously hand-trimmed pork chops, ribeyes, and baby backs tempt me. Tony’s New York accent carries over the chest-high glass case, “Whaduya havin’ today? I just got T-bones in last night. A little seasoning, and throw ‘em on the grill.” I pause, deciding, and Tony quickly offers me another recommendation. “Or, I got big chicken breasts stuffed with fontina and genoa ham. Just prepped ‘em this morning.” I trust Tony’s ideas, and I’m a loyal customer.
Last year, my doctor referred me to a dietician becausemy glucose was too high. I quickly scheduled a consultation with a registered dietician named Liz through Martin Memorial hospital. Before my appointment, I had to fill out a 10-page questionnaire about my diet, my personal health, and the health history of my parents and siblings.
At my appointment, Liz had my medical records from my physician, and my last two years of lab results and blood sugar readings. Over the next hour, we discussed the key dietary drivers of high blood sugar, and I was educated about improving my food choices. Her knowledge and expertise was striking. The hour-long appointment flew by as I received expert coaching and a meal plan customized to my metabolism, food preferences, and exercise level. It was scientific, with specific formulas for carbohydrate intake versus caloric burn and the resulting impact on my glucose metabolism.
I left with a unique plan for my particular health needs. Both Tony and Liz are talented professionals, provide great service, and have vast knowledge of food. But their motivations and resulting advice are very different. Tony sells what he gets from his distributors. His motive is to sell products at a profit, and to differentiate his butcher shop through great customer service and high-quality meat. Tony is an expert at advising on quality meat, but he will never tell me I need to go down the street to the fish shop. He will never tell me to skip the steak and eat salad instead.
My dietician, Liz, has formal nutrition training and is an expert at assessing patients’ dietary needs. Her expertise is her product, and she has nothing for sale. She does not need me to buy anything from her and so her advice is free of any conflict or mixed motivation.
Liz tells me what is best for me. She gives her professional opinion about what is in my best dietary interest, even though she knows I love carbs (I am craving a cookie as I write this!). Liz focuses on my needs alone, and has no conflict when telling me to avoid carbs and eat fresh produce instead.
When it comes to receiving financial advice, the investing public may not appreciate the important distinction between an investment broker and a registered fiduciary advisor. Brokers are like butchers. They sell customers the products that they have to offer, not necessarily the products that are in the customers’ best interests. Fiduciaries are like dieticians. They give advice that is solely in the best interest of their clients, and their fiduciary advice is not linked to certain products.
Brokers and fiduciary advisors may look exactly alike. But they are held to different standards of advice under the law. So, how can you tell a broker and a fiduciary apart? Simply ask if they are a registered fiduciary. Your financial health may depend on it.
At Price Wealth Management, we are registered fiduciary advisors who put your best interests first. We are compensated by a level fee, not commissions. Consequently, our advice is product-neutral and conflict-free. Moreover, we have the experience, credentials, and resources to provide what you need. And you will like our personal service as well. To learn more, contact us directly at: 772-888-3735.
Transparency note: The butcher/dietician comparison is not my original idea. However, the butcher and dietician I described are from my real life experience.
P.S. Since following Liz’s plan, I am feeling great! I have more energy to spend with my family and play with my grandson.
Work with Price Wealth Management and you’ll know how your money is invested, and why. You’ll know how your accounts are performing, and you’ll know the fee you are paying. Our approach is centered around communication and transparency. For further information, visit us at www.pricewm.com.