Fiduciary Financial Advisor

Seattle’s Premier Fiduciary Financial Advisors

Wealth management with fiduciary responsibility working for you

It’s important to know who you’re working with. There are thousands of financial advisors in the Seattle area and hundreds of thousands nationwide. But only a relatively small percentage are bound by law to give you advice that’s in your best interest. These are known as “fiduciaries.”

They are two types of fiduciaries: (1) Trust companies; and (2) Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs). Both must adhere to what’s known as the fiduciary standard, requiring them to provide advice that’s 100% in your best interest. What about the many financial advisors who are not fiduciaries? They are NOT required by law to do what is in each client’s best interest.

A big difference:

  • Trust companies and registered investment advisors (RIAs) must adhere to the fiduciary standard and do what’s in your best interest.
  • All other, non-fiduciary financial advisors are NOT legally required to do what’s in your best interest.

Trust company and fee-only registered investment advisor (RIA)

Laird Norton Wealth Management is both a trust company and a registered investment advisor (RIA). In all the work we do for clients, we are legally required to act in their best interest. We recommend investments only if we are convinced such investments will work best for you, in terms of costs, taxes, return and risk. We are a fee-only financial firm, meaning we are not paid a commission to invest your money with any particular investment manager or fund.

Fiduciary financial advisors vs. non-fiduciary financial advisors

Stockbrokers and other non-fiduciaries (bank representatives, financial planners, insurance agents, and any other non-fiduciary selling financial products) are commission-based salespeople whose pay is based mainly on the quantity and type of financial products they sell. Their legal obligation to you is the “suitability rule.” That may sound good. But what’s “suitable” can still be against your best interest. When it comes to investment advice, non-fiduciary financial advisors may be biased by incentives.

Your best interest the Laird Norton Wealth Management Way

Our definition of acting in your best interest applies to everything we do for you. Our investment experts, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professionals, tax strategists and trust managers work together to:

  • Manage risk not only in your investment portfolio but across your entire asset base;
  • Conduct budgeting and income sustainability analysis so you know what kind of spending your investment portfolio can support;
  • Minimize investment-related income taxes;
  • Make sure your investments are aligned with your short- and long-term financial plan and you estate plan;
  • Make ongoing adjustments to your investments, wealth plan and estate plan as your life circumstances change.

The benefits of working with LNWM’s fiduciary financial

Advisors Fee transparency.

A major benefit of working with a trust company and a registered investment advisor is that we are required by law to disclose upfront what your fee will be and how it is calculated. Non-fiduciary financial advisors are not required to tell you how much you are paying in fees. At Laird Norton Wealth Management, transparency starts with fees and extends to all we do on your behalf. It’s your money, and our purpose is to manage your assets to help you attain your goals and fulfill your aspirations.

Investment management discounts passed on to you.

Because of our size, we are often in a position to pro-actively negotiate manager-fee discounts and preferred pricing, which we pass on directly to you. And as a fee-only registered investment advisor (RIA), we will never accept incentives to invest your dollars with a particular asset manager or fund.

Seattle’s full-service financial firm

As Seattle’s premier fiduciary wealth advisory firm, Laird Norton Wealth Management provides strategic investment management, in-depth wealth, tax and estate planning and expert trust management, all from one dedicated team of wealth planners and investment advisors.

The integrated services LNWM provides mean that every time you make a major financial decision, we can help you see the impact on all aspects of your finances and life. When your goals change or new opportunities arise, we’re there to help you realize their full impact and potential.

LNWM advises you based not just your investments, but on the impact on your cashflow, lifestyle options and legacy plans. We advise you based on a holistic view of all your assets: properties, any businesses, and even the “human capital” that is waiting to be developed within your family.

Time and time again, we’ve seen that the most effective financial decisions are made with a holistic view to their impact. When things like the potential risk/return, taxes, cash flow or even legacy are taken into consideration, a clearer decision path emerges. With the right financial decisions optimizing all of these factors for you, the benefits tend to compound over the years and through multiple generations. This is what LNWM helps you do. We provide integrated wealth management that serves your needs and the needs of your loved ones over time.

Our success stems from our our integrated approach, and adherence to the fiduciary standard to do what’s in each client’s best interest. These are the key reasons that families, foundations and nonprofit endowments, in Seattle and around the globe, have partnered with Laird Norton Wealth Management for their wealth advisory needs for more than half a century.