By Christian Doule
It’s not often in life that you get the opportunity to make your dream a reality, so it is with great excitement that I announce my new firm, Avaii Wealth Management. After almost 20 years in the finance industry, I took a leap of faith and founded Avaii Wealth Management with Jeff Rainer (Founding Wealth Advisor) and Joel Blattner (Founding Direction of Investments and Planning). In our work at our previous firm, we felt that we were serving our clients in the same way an independent advisor would, but some changes were announced that pushed us to truly become independent and continue to act as fiduciaries for our clients.
Now, after founding Avaii Wealth Management, we are an independent, client-centered firm committed to providing high-touch and personalized service. We believe that our independence offers invaluable benefits to our clients, and we are proud of our freedom and ability to put our clients first, always doing what is right for them.
What Makes An Advisor Independent?
The main difference between an advisor that is independent and one that is not has to do with the advice that they give. An independent advisor is unrestricted in how they can advise their clients because they are not obligated to recommend any particular family of funds or investment products. This means that they are able to provide unbiased advice and can consider and recommend all types of retail investment products that could fit a client’s goals.
On the other hand, an advisor that is not independent can only recommend certain products, product providers, or both. This type of advisor is typically employed by a major wirehouse, bank, or other financial institution. Because they are associated with one of these types of institutions, they are not considered independent but instead are considered “captive.” This doesn’t make the advisor a bad person or even a bad advisor; however, it does limit the advice and recommendations that they are able to give to their clients. Ultimately, this type of advisor is going to have more potential conflicts of interest because of their captive status as an advisor when compared to an independent advisor.
Independent advisors are also known as Independent Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs). These kinds of advisors are held to the highest standard for their clients, which is commonly referred to as the fiduciary standard. This standard legally requires that these advisors put the interest of their clients above all else and at all times.
Benefits Of Working With An Independent Advisor
When you seek out advice, you want it to be specific to your personal situation, goals, and needs. This is one of the most important benefits of working with an independent advisor since their guidance is customized to you. Because they are not captive to any specific investment product company or family of funds, they have the freedom to recommend everything that is available in the marketplace. This allows you, the consumer, to benefit from a wider range of investment options and receive advice that takes your complete financial picture into consideration.
Another factor that sets independent advisors apart is how they charge clients. First and foremost, independent advisors disclose their fee structure to clients before any agreed-upon engagement. In addition, their fee structure is always transparent and easy to understand for clients. It is typical for an independent advisor to operate under an hourly, project-based, retainer, fee-only, or fee-based model, all of which create fewer conflicts of interest for the advisor. This is very important for the consumer, as one of the major impacts on investment return is the percentage of fees you pay.
Finally, independent advisors are business owners and prioritize deep and long-lasting relationships with their clients. Instead of thinking of clients as transactions, they treat their clients like family, holding themselves personally accountable for reaching their clients’ goals.
What Avaii Can Do For You
Avaii Wealth Management was created based on a few common-sense approaches to financial planning and wealth management: put our clients first, provide actionable ideas in an unbiased way, and speak in a language our clients can understand. We believe that if we always put our clients first, create and implement plans with our clients based on their goals and dreams, and are genuinely grateful for the trust our clients place in us, we will continue to enhance financial futures and build lasting relationships.
If you’d like to learn more about what a relationship with an independent advisor could look like, please do not hesitate to contact us. Set up a no-obligation get-acquainted meeting today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 920-214-1212.
Christian Doule is a founding partner and wealth advisor at Avaii Wealth Management with almost 20 years of industry experience. He specializes in retirement, investment, and estate planning, as well as business succession, life insurance, and tax planning, using his knowledge and experiences to help his clients discover their core values and integrate them into the planning process. Christian has an associate’s degree in finance from Madison Area Technical College and holds the designations of Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®). Christian is a lifetime resident of the Fox Valley Area and enjoys spending time with his wife, Heather, and their daughter, Charli. He also loves spending time outdoors and won’t turn down a day of golfing or duck hunting. Learn more about Christian on LinkedIn.