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Fee-only financial planners are registered investment advisors with a fiduciary responsibility to act in their clients’ best interest – and the fee structure to support it.
Fee-Only Financial Advisors are Paid Only By The Client
As you get older, busier and hopefully wealthier, your financial goals get more complicated.
A financial helper can save you time.
Like every service provider, a financial advisor is paid for doing their job. However, they don’t all get paid the same way. A fee-only advisor is paid directly by the client on a transparent and pre-arranged payment plan. This can be an hourly or project rate, monthly retainer, or percentage of investments managed.
The professional organization for fee-only advisors, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) requires members to adhere to a higher set of standards.
- Meet stiff ethical, credentialing and educational requirements.
- Be primarily engaged as a holistic financial advisor (rather than merely an investment or tax advisor).
- Meet the most rigorous continuing education requirements in the industry.
- Submit to outside professional review, to ensure there are no conflicts of interest created by commissions.
- Submit a financial plan for review by peers, before being admitted as a member.
There are other advisors that are not considered fee-only. They are paid through other sources including by the companies they recommend. For example, if the planner sells you a specific investment, mutual fund, insurance or other products, they receive a commission or partial commission from the company. This situation does not always work in your best interest and you may want to avoid a salesperson that could be out for personal gain.
Ultimately, you want to choose a fee-only planner who will be loyal to you and your interests. You’ve come to the right place to begin your search.