Are you overwhelmed by tax laws, interest rates, investment options, and regulations? You’re not alone. Most people don’t have the time and energy to learn the ins and outs of the financial world. That’s why many individuals with a high net worth turn to a Certified Financial Planner™ for help managing their assets and investments.
While there are many values you should look for when hiring a financial planning firm, fee-only services should be at the top of your list. Financial Consulate operates on a fee-only fiduciary basis to ensure we always act in our clients’ best interests.
Learn more about fee-only financial planning below. Then, call Financial Consulate to schedule your introductory appointment. You can reach our Hunt Valley, MD office at 410-823-7283 and our Gettysburg, PA location at 717-334-1861.
What Is a Fee-Only Financial Planner?
A fee-only financial planner is a Registered Investment Advisor with a fiduciary responsibility to keep each client’s best interests at heart. This is done by not accepting kickbacks, referral fees, or commissions on product sales, which could create inherent conflicts of interest.
Instead, fee-only financial advisors charge for their services by collecting a percentage of the total investment portfolio. This benefits both parties because the advisor makes more money if the client’s wealth also increases. This differs from commission-based financial planning, which permits brokers to profit from individual transactions, even if the value of the overall portfolio drops.
What Is the Difference Between Fee-Only and Fee-Based?
Don’t confuse the two terms. Financial advisors that earn commissions have created a category dubbed “fee-based.” This means they charge fees and collect commissions.
On the other hand, fee-only investment advisors sign an annual fiduciary oath with the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) that explicitly prohibits them from receiving compensation from a third party for signing up a client to receive their services. This means they only charge a fee for their services based on what the value of the client’s overall portfolio is.
What Is a Financial Fiduciary?
You might have run across the phrase “financial fiduciary” when searching for a reputable financial planner. In short, a fiduciary is an advisor that is duty-bound to offer investment advice that aligns with the client’s best interests, not the firm’s. Financial planners who abide by a fiduciary standard must disclose conflicts of interest to their clients and be fully transparent about their compensation methods.
Conversely, non-fiduciary advisors may recommend investments with higher risks and lower returns that don’t benefit the client as much simply because they earn the firm a higher commission. According to findings from the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, non-fiduciary investments deprive clients of $17 billion a year.
How Do I Find a Fiduciary Financial Advisor Near Me?
Naturally, you want to work with a Certified Financial Planner™ who has your best interests at heart. Here are the best ways to find reputable financial advising near you:
- Look for “fee-only,” not “fee-based,” services.
- Find an investment advisor that meets the requirements of NAPFA. (There are roughly 3,000 personal financial advisors in the country that follow this standard.)
- Ask your financial planner if they signed a Fiduciary Oath.
Choose Financial Consulate for Fee-Only Wealth Management in the Mid-Atlantic
When you work with Financial Consulate, you enjoy the benefits of a fee-only, NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor, including investment advice and transparent disclosure of our compensation methods. Get started with us today by scheduling a no-cost, no-obligation appointment where you can get to know us better.
Ready to receive investment advice and financial planning tools from a reputable financial fiduciary? If so, please contact Financial Consulate today. We service the surrounding areas of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and Washington, DC.