The month of May has been nominated as “Putting Investors First Month” by the CFA Institute, and Governor Nathan Deal declared this week “Putting Investors First Week” in Georgia. As part of their campaign, the CFA Institute has detailed a list of rights for investors called the Statement of Investor Rights. These rights are listed below:
- Honest, competent, and ethical conduct that complies with applicable law;
- Independent and objective advice and assistance based on informed analysis, prudent judgment, and diligent effort;
- My financial interests taking precedence over those of the professional and the organization;
- Fair treatment with respect to other clients;
- Disclosure of any existing or potential conflicts of interest in providing products or services to me;
- Understanding of my circumstances, so that any advice provided is suitable and based on my financial objectives and constraints;
- Clear, accurate, complete and timely communications that use plain language and are presented in a format that conveys the information effectively;
- An explanation of all fees and costs charged to me, and information showing these expenses to be fair and reasonable;
- Confidentiality of my information;
- Appropriate and complete records to support the work done on my behalf.
Throughout the month of May, there have been numerous events to promote this initiative. Events began on May 1 in New York City and have expanded to over 50 cities and involved more than 35,000 investment professionals. Other events throughout the month are occurring in US states, such as Georgia, Florida and Illinois and abroad in Amsterdam, Istanbul and Toronto.
At Balentine, we put our clients first at all times and in all circumstances. As an adviser regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, we go beyond the suitability standard suggested by the Statement and instead are held to a fiduciary standard to care, which, as Robert Balentine explained in his op-ed, “With Financial Advisors, Always Follow the Money,” means we are required to always act in the best interest of the client.
In an industry where fees and costs are confusing and shrouded, Balentine has attempted to lift the curtain with our presentation “How Much Are You Really Paying? The Hidden Costs of Investment Management.”
Finally, Balentine strives to educate our clients to better understand their investments and to accurately make personalized financial decisions. This past year, in honor of our Fifth Anniversary, we hosted Charles D. Ellis, dubbed the “wisest man on Wall Street,” to discuss his views on fees paid, common investment mistakes to avoid and differentiating from the economics of the business and the values of the profession.
As Robert Balentine expressed in his Atlanta Business Chronicle op-ed, “we have spent too much, saved too little and lived beyond our means. Simply put we are a financially illiterate nation.” Therefore, client and investor education will continue to be a main focus for Balentine.
At Balentine, our definition of success is helping each client meet his or her individual goal. That is why Putting Investors First is so integral to our relationships, not just this month but all year long.
Please ask any of our partners or Relationship Management team members if you have any other questions.