Sarasota County Bar Association
Manatee Chamber of Comerce

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

A Fiduciary is a person trusted to show good faith. They are bound to a duty to act with integrity and ethics to maintain the trust of those they serve.

Examples of Fiduciaries would include accountants, corporate officers, executors, lawyers, and investment professionals. All of these relationships require a “duty of care” and loyalty.

Individuals that neglect their fiduciary duty are facing punishment from the law. They can be charged with “Breach of Fiduciary Duty”. It’s fairly straight forward. The claimant has to prove two things:

  1. That the person was in a fiduciary position
  2. That they breached their duty for personal gain

Your stock broker may owe you a fiduciary duty, which means that they must put your interests ahead of the interests of the firm and broker. The rules on fiduciary duty vary from state to state, so you’ll need to speak to the team at Gucciardo Law to determine if you have a valid claim.

Fiduciary Duty Explained

If your stock broker is a fiduciary, they have an enormous obligation to advance your interests. In the most direct sense, this means putting your interests above theirs. For example, an advisor who purchases an investment because it will generate a large fee for themselves is likely violating their duty as a fiduciary.

What’s the Rule?

Fiduciary duty laws vary widely from state to state and also change depending on your stock broker’s registration. A key component to this case is determining whether your stock broker is actually a fiduciary.

A fiduciary duty may also extend to the firm that supervises your stock broker. For example, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act contains four requirements for 401(k) fiduciaries as an obligation for operating plans.

Fiduciary duty also contains obligations to choose an appropriate asset allocation, to manage your money in accordance with your needs and objectives, and being responsive to changes in the markets.

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