As we've previously written, there's a big difference between stockbrokers and true financial advisors. Brokers are salespeople: Because they're paid to sell you investments or insurance, they operate under a continual conflict of interest.
True financial advisors, on the other hand, only sell advice, not products. Unlike brokers, they are what's known as fiduciaries, meaning they must place clients' interests ahead of their own. Align Wealth Management is a fiduciary firm.
There's been a major development on this front. Early this month, the Department of Labor ruled that all advisors giving guidance to clients with 401(k)'s or IRAs must adhere to a more stringent "fiduciary" standard. This new rule, which goes fully into effect in 2018, is aimed squarely at brokers. For the first time, brokers will have to act more like true advisors.