Registered Investment Advisor versus Broker

Fiduciary vs. Suitability

Heritage Oak Wealth Advisors is a registered investment advisory firm. This means we have a fiduciary duty to act in the absolute best interest of our clients. We must follow the “Trust Standard,” which requires us to place the interests of our clients ahead of our own interests. Heritage Oak does not work for a broker-dealer; we only work for our client. On the other hand, brokers only have a suitability standard, which means they only need to provide suitable advice which may not be the absolute best advice for the client.

Advice vs. Transactions

Brokers are paid commissions on products sold. Heritage Oak does not earn commissions as investment advisor representatives; we earn a fee based on the amount of assets that we are managing for a client. Heritage Oak provides advice to our clients, not transactions.

Transparency vs. Disclosure

Brokers provide disclosure of their fees through a prospectus, which can be difficult to understand if you do not have experience with investments. Heritage Oak provides full transparency of all our fees and costs. We will discuss all aspects of our fees with you. We also provide fee reports which show full transparency on all advisory fees you are paying.

Third-Party Custody vs. In-House Custody

Heritage Oak uses a third-party custodian for your assets. We do not keep your assets in-house. This gives us limited power over your assets; we have the power to buy and sell securities on your behalf, move funds between your accounts, and to have funds sent directly to you. Brokers may also serve as a qualified custodian with direct access to the cash and securities maintained in client accounts, which may pose additional risks associated with misappropriation or loss of the assets maintained in these accounts. By using a third-party custodian, you can crosscheck the records we provide you with the records from the custodian. This ensures you that your money is in all the right places at all times.

Ethics vs. Legality

Heritage Oak believes the best way to earn your trust is through sound advice and our open relationship with clients. We believe the ethics and values you will find within our firm for how we serve our clients is higher than any standard. At the center of our values is the concept of fiduciary duty, and we pledge to you that we will never compromise these strong values.

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