Two Forgotten Words

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As you may or may not know, I am a licensed insurance agent. Not a big deal as there are probably 30,000 such animals across the U.S. What most people don’t know about the profession is the required training.

Before every license renewal period – 3 years in Nevada – I am required to have 30 continuing education (CE) hours. Of the 30, 3 must include ethics. I am not tooting my horn by any means, I’m merely detailing what we, the agents, must do to keep our license.

On top of the CE, we also receive additional training from the various companies with which we are licensed. During these sessions two words are repeated quite often.

They are fiduciary responsibility. The two forgotten words.

We are constantly reminded of our fiduciary responsibility to our clients.

Fiduciary Defined

Since I just went through such a session, I thought I’d research the word fiduciary. Fiduciary is derived from the Roman law according to Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Ed. It means a person holding the character of a trustee, or a character analogous to that of a trustee, in respect to the trust and confidence involved in it and the scrupulous good faith and candor which it requires.

Black’s goes on to say it is a person having duty, created by his undertaking, to act primarily for another’s benefit in matters connected with such undertaking. I believe this part of the definition is absolutely crystal clear and have no problem whatsoever in acting in the best interests of my client.

You should like the idea your insurance agent has a fiduciary responsibility to you, the client. In most cases, this means the client has the best possible insurance program.

Black’s also states that fiduciary is a term to refer to a person having duties involving good faith, trust, special confidence, and candor towards another. That makes a lot of sense in my opinion.

Fiduciary Capacity

As you can imagine, financial responsibility has tentacles. That is, anyone with such a responsibility has to have what the law calls capacity. This merely means you occupy a place of trust in relation to others, therefore you have fiduciary responsibility.

One pronounced example of fiduciary capacity is a public officer. You don’t have to think very hard to figure out who falls into the category of public officer. If they are on the ballot or appointed by a governmental body, they are a public officer. In actuality, the definition of public officer is far more enhanced but is beyond the scope of this post.

In case you can’t determine or don’t know that those you elected to Congress have a fiduciary to you the citizen, I’ll tell you. Once they raised their hand and took the oath of office, bingo, they accepted fiduciary responsibility.

My question given everything that has happened to you and I the taxpayer, is how well do you think our elected reps have exercised their fiduciary responsibility? Mind you, if you pulled some of the shenanigans in your real estate dealings they have pulled on us, you’d be in Club Fed.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is my post. I just wanted to lay a concept on you that has all but been forgotten.

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