Fiduciary Responsibility


FI360 defines a fiduciary as any investment professional or financial advisor who is required by law and practice to act solely in the interests of and with undivided loyalty to their clients. A fiduciary’s advice and recommendations must align with your specific objectives, time frame and risk tolerance. When managing your assets, a fiduciary must strive for an optimal balance of risk and return. That person must exercise care, skill, diligence and objectivity in evaluating, recommending and reviewing investment options. 

The fiduciary standard requires that those who provide investment advice or manage assets for individuals, families, retirement plans, trusts, endowments, and foundations act solely in the interests of the beneficiaries of their services.


An advisor should be able to provide clear and concise answers to the following points and be willing to disclose the information in writing.

  • Will you act as a fiduciary in all scenarios when managing my portfolio or plan assets?
  • What fiduciary training have you received? Do you hold any designations focused on fiduciary best practices?
  • What services do you provide to help clients meet their fiduciary obligations? Please disclose and describe any potential conflicts of interest.
  • Describe your total compensation or fees received for your proposed services.

What does it mean to be an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®)?

Designees have the fiduciary knowledge and tools they need to serve their clients’ best interests. In other words, they are fiduciaries! You can expect to learn how they will work with you, how they are compensated and the list of resources and tools that are incorporated into their business practices.


Is the investment advice you are receiving really in your best interests? Unless your advisor understands and follows a fiduciary process, you can’t really be sure. Even those investment professionals who are required to act as fiduciaries might not have the experience or training to prepare them for this enormous responsibility.

Only Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) Designees have been certified specifically for their ability to follow a fiduciary process with their clients’ best interests at heart. Here are some attributes that make AIF® Designees different from other advisors or financial professionals:

Experience. Designees are required to provide documented industry and educational experience to qualify for the designation.

Education. Designees must complete the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) Training, which covers the Prudent Practices® for managing fiduciary assets for wealth, nonprofit and retirement clients.

Examination. Designees must pass an examination to prove comprehension of the Prudent Practices® and ability to act in the best interest of clients.

Ethics. Designees adhere to a Code of Ethics and Conduct Standards that show a commitment to a higher degree of industry professionalism.

Continuing Education. Designees commit to keeping their knowledge and skills sharp by completing annual continuing education requirements.