Ask Terry Questions Money Manager – Fiduciary or not?

Money Manager – Fiduciary or not?

By Terry Savage on May 19, 2019 | Financial Planning / Retirement

Hi Terry,
My three questions are about my long time money manager who is a fiduciary. Our investments – including mutual funds and annuities – total about $1½ million.
1. How often should he meet with me and my spouse?
2. Is it customary for him to let us know the agenda ahead of time? Or is it customary for us to learn our discussion topics at the time we arrive? Past agenda items include a portfolio review and his recommendations to close certain accounts and open new ones.
3. When recommending the purchase of a specific mutual fund or annuity, should he directly state the commission and annual fees we will pay?
Thank you very much!

Terry Says

First, how do you know your money manager is a fiduciary?  Because he said so???  If that’s the case, ask him to sign the Fiduciary Pledge — on his company’s letterhead.  The pledge says: “ I will fully disclose all fees and commissions and any other compensation I receive on products I recommend, and I will always put your interests ahead of my own.”

If he/she won’t put this in writing, your money manager is NOT a fiduciary!  And you can find one at

Not as to your specific questions — How frequently you meet is a subject you should discuss with your manager, but certainly once a year, maybe twice. And the manager should be available to take your call in any market crisis or personal change of circumstances (job loss, illness etc) that impacts your risk tolerance.

If would be nice if he/she would let you know the agenda ahead of time.  That’s the perfect  opportunity to bring up any issues/questions that YOU want to put on the agenda.

And the third question is answered by the Fiduciary pledge.  A Fiduciary ALWAYS reveals any fees, commissions, delayed compensation, etc.

I hope this is just a communications issue between you and your planner –and not a sign that the planner is more concerned about his/her own retirement than yours!

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