At RIADB, we have curated a database of advisors that do not receive fees, commissions, or other forms of compensation from another party based on the referral of a client or the client’s business. We advocate for advisors that work only for you, without any other party in mind.
Fee-Only financial planners are registered investment advisors (RIAs) whose compensation is solely comprised of fees paid by their clients. These advisors are not burdened by the conflicts of interest that are inherent in accepting income from other sources, such as brokerage fees or commissions on product sales. It leaves them only with a fiduciary responsibility to act in their clients’ best interest and the ability provide more comprehensive advice.
A small change in terminology can make for a big difference in meaning. Many commission-based agents refer to themselves as fee-based financial planners. Don’t let this title fool you. Contrary to Fee-Only RIAs, “fee based” brokers and financial advisors simply charge their clients the expected fees while leaving themselves the option to collect commissions on products or services that they sell you, whether you need them or not.
With so many different types of financial advisors working with individuals to plan and improve their futures, how do you know which one you should be working with?
Financial Advisors are professional asset managers who help clients save, invest and grow their money, such as Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and Certified Financial Planners (CFPs). These should not be confused with other industry professionals, like stockbrokers, who handle stock market trades, or accountants, who can help you save on your taxes. Financial advisors are focused on what you can do with the wealth you have accrued to ensure it continues to grow and act as a safety net for yourself and your family for years to come.
While it is safer to choose an advisor who is an RIA, simply having the letters next to their name or firm doesn’t guarantee that they are providing you with conflict-free advice. You want to ensure that your advisor is a fiduciary, meaning they are obligated to act in your best interest. How can you tell if an advisor is operating with your interests in mind? Read on to find out.
One of the best places to start when determining the integrity of a given advisor is to understand where they earn their money.