Bergland Wealth Management is an independent Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) and has been Fee-Only since our doors opened in 1985. But what exactly does this mean?
Traditionally, the business of providing investment advice has been centered on "selling." Financial institutions develop products and brokers (i.e. salesmen or Registered Representatives) generally sell those proprietary products to customers. Brokers are paid to transact, whereas it may be in your best interest to buy and hold. There is an inherent conflict of interest with the old way (or traditional structure), as compensation incentives are misaligned with your interests. This is akin to your doctor only being able to prescribe certain medications, even if there are others available on the market that are better suited for you.
As a pioneer in Fee-Only financial planning in the state of Mississippi, BWM is fiercely independent and, as a result, not beholden to any particular financial institution or class of products. Our wealth management process begins and ends with you, the client. By carefully considering your unique needs, our objectivity and independence allows us to use the best solution providers, while steering clear of conflicts of interest.
How can this be? It’s simple. There is little incentive for us, as an independent, Fee-Only fiduciary, to do anything other than that which is in your best interest at all times. We are free to give you the best advice possible because we work directly for you and are paid by you – not by another financial institution. Should a potential conflict of interest arise, we will disclose and discuss in detail with the prospect/client and provide written confirmation of said disclosure.
Do you prefer the old way or the new way?