Why Fee Only?
Advantages of a Fee-Only advisor:
- Paid only by the client and receives no commission or referral fees
- Removes conflict of interest encountered by commissioned brokers/advisors
- Allows the advisor to provide unbiased advice to the client
- Usually have more education and experience in financial areas versus sales techniques
- Has maximum range of investments and does not have allegiance to one investment company
- Allows advisor to recommend other qualified professionals based on their ability, not influenced by referral fees
Other Advisor compensation methods:
- Commissions — Stock/Broker is paid a commission either up-front, each year or when investment is sold.
- Broker could be more motivated to sell new products versus focusing on client goals.
- Costs are not obvious so you may be unsure of what you are paying
- Some investments, such as variable annuities, pay higher commissions so the advisor might encourage clients to invest in an investment that is not in client’s best interest.
- Fee-based — The advisor is paid a fee for developing a plan, but can also get a commission for selling products.
- Has the same disadvantage as a commissioned broker/advisor.