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My Introduction to the Term "Fee-Only Fiduciary" by Misty Chatterley

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When I began working with Adam and Joyce, I was excited to learn exactly what an “Independent, Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisor” was.  According to Investopedia, a “registered investment advisor (RIA) manages the assets of high net-worth individuals and institutional investors, and sits on the buy side of the investment field.” Needless to say, this definition didn’t quite help me to understand what Sommers Financial Management does for our clients.

In my past experience, I had only invested money with large firms such as Edward Jones and Charles Schwab. I gave them some of my money each month, and every few months, I would receive a statement in the mail. I assumed that this is how investment advisors worked: from behind closed doors, never reaching out to you or checking in on you.  And what if you had a question? Well, you had to call the toll-free number on the statement and sit on hold for unknown amounts of time. By the time someone finally picked up the phone, I felt like I was just another number.

I have since learned that an Investment Advisor should actually know and care about their clients. They want people to succeed so that they can also succeed. Adam is a true fiduciary: he listens to what you want and does his best to build your wealth using investment strategies that are always in your best interest. Joyce is always here with a warm smile and a kind word, demonstrating her expertise and helping you to always act in your financial best interest. They both care about their clients, and it shows in the conversations they have with people. This is how it should be.

What makes the biggest difference for me is that Adam is willing to teach people how to invest their money, whether it’s through a newsletter, over the phone, through social media, or in person. He always does his best to make time for you. He wants you to know exactly where your money is invested, and how your investments are doing. Other large firms don’t seem to offer that personal touch.

In my first six months with SFM, I’ve learned the definition of fiduciary, and we aim to live it every day through our work.