As an independent Registered Investment Adviser (RIA), Lonier Financial Advisory LLC has a unique relationship of trust with you, our clients.
LFA LCC is a fiduciary who puts your best interests ahead of our own. We are a fee-only advisor. We don’t sell anything to you but our services. LFA LLC works hard to keep our fees and your cost of investing as low as we can so you enjoy higher returns, while providing you impartial financial planning and investment management services. We help you make better choices. That’s the value-add we contribute to your financial well-being.
I’m Michael Lonier, the owner and investment adviser representative of LFA LLC. This fiduciary duty—as set forth by the federal Investment Advisers Act of 1940—makes me different from many other financial services professionals you will meet.
Most stock brokers and insurance agents now call themselves financial advisors or financial planners. Regardless of title, if they earn commissions, they are securities sales agents regulated under different federal laws, and do not have a fiduciary obligation to place your interests ahead of their own or their firm’s.
Some Registered Investment Adviser firms work under a hybrid ‘fee-based’ model. This means they offer advisory services for fees, but they also earn commissions as agents for selling financial products they recommend to you. They may be affiliated with broker/dealers, banks, or insurance companies and offer securities through that relationship. Though this practice inherently conflicts with your best interests, it is legal under the Act as long as they disclose their conflict of interest and all sales fees and commissions to you. Hybrid RIAs are still required to uphold a fiduciary standard even as they acknowledge their conflict with your interests.
How I differ from financial advisors, commissioned financial planners, and hybrid RIA reps is that they are commissioned salespeople, and I am not.
[blockquote type=”blockquote_line” align=”left”]As your trusted fiduciary advisor, I offer a value-add service, providing clarity, impartial advice, expert planning and investment management. I help you make better choices.[/blockquote]
As sales agents, they may have incentives to make certain sales levels or sell certain products their firms have identified as highly profitable, even if there are alternatives that are better suited to you. Legally, what they sell must only be ‘suitable.’ Financial advisors and commissioned financial planners are not required to ensure that you fully understand all the factors affecting their sales recommendation. Whether what they are selling is right or best for you is left for you to decide. That’s the way the buyer-seller relationship works.
Further, the sizable cost of these commissions comes out of your investable capital. The generally undisclosed sales fees and commissions that you pay to your financial advisor or commissioned planner when you buy their products can range from a low of 1-3% to upwards of 15-20% for some higher priced insurance products, significantly cutting into your returns. That’s also how the buyer-seller relationship works.
I’m independent. I work only for you. I don’t have a sales quota to meet or a new product to push or concerns I’ll be pushed out if I don’t produce. Neither I nor my company is affiliated with any other entity, or is a broker, agent, or referer for any other financial services firms or other third parties. LFA LLC and I do not receive any income or compensation from anyone except you.You know exactly what my fees are, and what they are for, because you approve them and pay them directly.
Acting in your best interest with a high duty for prudence and care, openly without personally profiting from the advisory service I provide to you, except for the fees you pay for the service, is my fiduciary obligation to you as your trusted advisor.
I think this is vitally important to you. Now that most corporations have dropped expensive professionally managed pension plans, millions of Americans are now in charge of their own pension and retirement planning through 401k/403b plans and IRAs they must manage themselves. Similarly, the increasing number of small businesses that are rising up as corporate America downsizes have to figure out how to go it alone.
The financial services industry is enormous, and enormously complex. Where once the pension plans were their customers, now they are coming directly to you. The big players spend billions on advertising, marketing, and sales training—targeting your dollars.
This can make it difficult to clearly understand your options and unfortunately relatively easy for those who are selling to take some persuasive advantage during the sales process. How do you sort through this tangle and make the best choices for you?
It is more difficult than ever to find a trustworthy advisory relationship. I believe independent, fee-only fiduciary advisors (RIAs) are the right place to find that help. You should choose your advisor carefully based on fit and a sense of trust.
As your trusted advisor, I offer a valuable service that focuses only on serving you, providing you with clarity, impartial advice, total financial resource planning, and prudent investment management. By organizing and simplifying your financial life, my goal is that you enjoy the confidence, peace of mind, and resources to reach your goals and live your life more fully. I help you make better choices.
Contact me now, via email, the contact form, or phone (201-741-9528). We can talk about your goals and your concerns and how I might help. There is no charge or obligation for these initial discussions.