Why Fee Only?

A fee-only financial advisor is someone who, in all circumstances, is compensated solely and directly by the client. No compensation is contingent upon the purchase or sale of any financial product.

Any financial professional who has a stake in the course of action that he/she recommends to a client faces an inherent conflict of interest and cannot be considered objective and unbiased. This is true even if the advisor truly believes that he/she has only the best interests of the client at heart. Often times their knowledge base is influenced by the very company who is encouraging the sale of the specific financial product.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of people in the United States calling themselves “financial advisors” are actually financial product salespeople. Some or all of their income is dependent upon their ability to steer their clients into financial products that pay differing levels of compensation to the salesperson. Putting aside the conflict-of-interest factor, this limiting of choices, in and of itself, is often enough to impact the quality of the investment advice. Today these salespeople can and do include stock-brokers, insurance agents, accountants and attorneys, as well as financial planners. Many of their clients are not aware that their advisors are paid to generate financial product sales, or do not recognize the significance of this conflict. Working with a fee-only financial advisor ensures that these conflicts do not exist and your best interests are the only consideration.