When looking for Financial Advisors, you have probably come across the terms Fee Only and Fee Based—so what does that mean?
Fee Only Advisor
Fee Only Advisors are compensated directly by the client, meaning that there are no commissions, incentives or hidden fees that the advisor receives in connection with their advice to a client. The fees can be paid in a variety of ways such as flat, hourly, subscription, or percentage of assets/income. The key factor is that it comes directly from the client and is very transparent.
Fee Only Advisors also act in a Fiduciary capacity-this means they are required to put the client’s interest ahead of their own. I would love to believe that this is the standard for all businesses (even outside of financial advice), but apparently that is not the case.
Fee Based Advisor
Now that we’ve discussed Fee Only, what does it mean to be Fee Based? Fee Based simply means that the advisor can be compensated directly from the client and receive commissions or other sales related incentives for products they sell to clients. A client may appear to have a lower fee, but the advisor could be receiving a commission in addition to that fee that is not transparent. Also, a Fee Based Advisor is not required to act in a fiduciary capacity, they are required to make recommendations that are suitable.
At Financial Journey LLC, I am a Fee Only Advisor acting in a fiduciary capacity for all clients. There are no hidden fees or sales incentives that I receive for any recommendation that I make to clients.
Financial Journey LLC is a registered investment advisor offering advisory services in the state of Virginia and in other jurisdictions where exempted. Information provided is for educational purposes only and not, in any way, to be considered investment or tax advice.