Following a 60-day delay, the Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule was implemented on June 9. The Rule affects all financial professionals who make retirement account recommendations, but there are key distinctions among the different types of businesses.

In general terms, there are two types of financial services companies that provide recommendations to retirement account owners; commission-based and fee-based. The commission based shops are broker-dealers like Edward Jones, or insurance companies like Northwestern Mutual. The fee based shops are typically independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firms, although some RIAs are dually registered. ASG is a fee-only RIA and has operated as a fiduciary since it was founded in 2009.

Before the Fiduciary Rule, commission-based shops operated under the lower suitability standard which left many consumers vulnerable to conflicts of interest and hidden fees. Fiduciaries were required by law to put client interests first but most RIAs were only accessible to investors with high account balances. When we first founded ASG, only one out of twenty financial services professionals was a fiduciary.

Unlike brokers and insurance agents, many RIAs are already in compliance with the basic premise of the new DOL Fiduciary Rule. A regulation under the Rule that applies to all firms is that they charge only “reasonable compensation”. ASG was founded with low costs in mind. We recently compared our fees to the industry standard as measured by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII):

Client Account Value


Industry Standard Annual Fee ASG Annual Fee
$100,000 1% – 1.49% 0.90%
$300,000 1% – 1.24% 0.80%
$750,000 0.75% – 1.24% 0.70%
$1,500,000 0.75% – 0.99% 0.60%
$5,000,000 0.75% – 0.99% 0.50%


Our commitment to high quality and low cost is as strong as our commitment to service. This summer, as always, we welcome your calls, emails, and texts in addition to face-to-face meetings.

Asset Strategies Group, LLC / an Independent Registered Investment Advisor Firm

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