Once while attending a meeting of Fee-Only financial planners, we heard a university planned giving manager ask, “Why should I refer donors who are interested in financial planning advice to one of you, rather than that nice lady I know at one of the major brokerages?”
While we certainly can understand referring people to someone you already know, we would submit that a good reason to work with a Fee-Only financial planner is that Fee-Only financial planners focus on your unique needs, tailoring their adviceto your particular situation.
Financial planners at brokerages and insurance firms get money through commissions and fees that come from selling products. No matter how nice or thorough they may be, they bottom line is that they don’t get paid unless they sell a certain amount of products. This is not to disparage the work of these financial planners but to make sure you know how the system works so you can make informed decisions.
Because you pay a Fee-Only financial planner directly, he or she is free to give you guidance that is unconstrained by concerns about sales quotas or compensation risks.
You should also know that fee-only does not mean unaffiliated. Clarity Financial Planning is registered with the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.
In “Fee-Only Financial Planner: What’s the Difference?” on Forbes.com, David John Marrotta writes:
“The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) is the leading professional association of fee-only financial advisors. NAPFA is distinguished both by the competence of its advisors and their method of compensation.”
Perhaps you are becoming aware that wealth is about more than your portfolio or what you have in the bank; it is about your mindset. When you want a change from the same old “wealth management” approach that seems to whittle away your wealth while managing to make your brokerage more money, the holistic approach of Fee-Only financial planning is a great answer.