Choosing a Financial Adviser

We are often asked for referrals to financial advisors and we are happy to make introductions.  Occasionally clients hesitate to work with a financial advisor because of confusion about the cost.  Many of our clients have heard that they should only work with a “fee only” financial advisor, but they don’t understand what that means.  “Fee only” means that there are not commissions earned on trades (buying or selling a stock or other financial product), so theoretically, there is no financial incentive for a financial advisor to trade in the account unless it benefits the client.  In our experience, almost all financial advisors are “fee only” in that they charge a percentage of the value of the account (usually 1%) annually and do not charge for trades.  If the account grows, the financial advisor’s fee grows, so both the client and the advisor have an incentive for the account to grow.  There are also some “fee only’ financial advisors who do not manage money; instead, they prepare a comprehensive financial plan for clients and then instruct the clients on how to invest using one of the low cost do-it-yourself investment firms like Schwab or Fidelity.  If you would like an introduction to a fee-only financial planner, please call our office to be connected with one of our attorneys.

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