“From time to time,” we all “circle back,” “touch base,” go for “deeper dives” and, of course, get views “from 30,000 feet.” The financial industry has its own specific set of clichés, featuring such chestnuts as “buy low, sell high” and “don’t try to catch a falling knife.” Long gone are the days of “a penny saved is a penny earned.”

Over the past several years, an even more specific set of clichés has invaded the independent financial advisory industry. Some of these, such as “open architecture” and “fee-only,” are useful for communicating complex concepts to clients. Others, however, have been abused to the point of becoming problematic, even obfuscating some truths. The worst offenders are the subject of this article.

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