By Samantha J. Garcia, CFP®, AIF®, CDFA®, Wealth Advisor at Halbert Hargrove.

Communicating integrity can be an integral part of your business, especially when that business has a foundation of trust. At Halbert Hargrove, integrity is a non-negotiable attribute—something we believe reveals itself over time. So how does one show that?

To be allowed to show your integrity, you first have to talk about it. The very first words on our website’s landing page strive to communicate several of the values that our integrity is founded on: hard work, perseverance, and good advice.

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Our website also talks about the training our professionals pursue, our role as a fiduciary, our commitment to outside audits of our practices, and our commitment to our local communities.

Ultimately though, when it comes to integrity, we simply believe actions speak louder than words. The following fundamental aspects of our firm demonstrate just that:

We are a fiduciary. The fiduciary vs. broker distinction has been in the news quite a bit over the last few years. For us, serving clients in a fiduciary capacity is a clear statement about our integrity. We do not sell specific products. We are fee-only, meaning that we are paid only by our clients and always strive to do what is best for them. We also conduct fee reviews with our clients, so they understand what they are paying us and how much the investment vehicles we use cost.

Further, all of our Wealth Advisors are Accredited Investment Fiduciary® advisors. This demonstrates that we go the extra mile in fiduciary training and are committed to putting our clients’ interests ahead of our own.

Halbert Hargrove is certified by the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence (CEFEX) and has been since 2010. Our firm voluntarily undergoes CEFEX’s annual independent fiduciary audits to verify that we are acting in the best interests of our clients. This certification is not easy to come by or to keep: Just 135 investment advisory firms worldwide hold this certification. The CEFEX certification strives to reinforce that we’re doing everything we’ve promised we’ll do.

We are serious about listening to clients and prospects, tailoring recommendations based on their individual circumstances. Our listening discipline begins with introductory conversations with prospects. If you’ve joined with us fairly recently, you know that our initial discovery call is essentially a series of open-ended questions aimed at getting to the heart of what you want to communicate.

Listening in this way helps us understand you on a deeper level than just your finances; our initial recommendations during follow-up proposal meetings are based on what we’ve learned. We believe this listening approach, along with our dedication to ongoing honest and fearless conversations with clients, is another way our integrity reveals itself: Your priorities come first, and are integral to our ongoing relationship with you.

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For more information or questions, please contact Halbert Hargrove at