What do we mean when we say “We’re a fee-only financial services firm”?
Don’t earn commissions
Are not paid by the products you buy
Are strictly paid by a fee or hourly rate
Have a fiduciary responsibility to you, not a brokerage, bank, or insurance company.
Provide financial planning and investment advice without an agenda or sales quota.
Are a private, locally-owned company
HOW DO MOST FINANCIAL FIRMS CHARGE FOR ADVICE?
The vast majority of financial services and advisory firms are owned by a bank, large broker-dealer, or insurance company. They have multiple operating layers which generate revenue through commissioned investment or insurance sales, advisory fees, revenue-sharing arrangements, and a variety of other fees.Such fees passed along to the client can be very difficult to calculate.
Many companies build their fees into products (annuities, mutual funds, insurance products, etc.) where they aren’t easily identifiable on a monthly account statement.
Product fees are often paid annually as long as you own them. For example:
12(b)-1 mutual fund fees can be the most elusive fees for the consumer to identify and generally pay 0.25% per year to your broker.
Annuities can often charge between 2.5% and 4.5% per year depending on the various investment options, rider charges, and insurance costs. So, a client with a $100,000 annuity may pay anywhere from $2,500 to $4,500 per year in expenses to the insurance company and broker.
Lack of transparency causes problems when trying to understand the full price for advice when you use commission or commission and fee advisors.
We can help you understand the full scope of fees you may be paying for the services being provided. Learn More
WHY ARE WE UNIQUE?
We are a locally-owned, independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). We are not owned by a brokerage, bank, or insurance company
Our fees are transparent and explicitly disclosed to the client via invoice.
We have a full-time fiduciary duty to our clients.
We do not earn commissions by selling products. We don’t have sales quotas, production-linked titles, bonuses, or incentive trips for reaching a specific level of sales.
IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ANSWER:
How much am I paying for advice?
Is my advisor a broker, insurance agent, or both?
What are the explicit and hidden fees in my advisory relationship?
Are my advisor’s product recommendations based on a commission?
Am I going to be sold an insurance policy or annuity?