In the financial planning profession there is a small minority of planners that refer to themselves as “fee only”.  No one wants to pay fees so why would they promote themselves like this?

 

Fee only refers to the way that advisors are compensated.  It isn’t in addition to commission based compensation so it isn’t more expensive but it may not necessarily be less expensive either.

 

One of the most important benefits of fee only advisors is that the client is the only one that pays them.  It’s much easier for them to put your interests first, which they coincidentally are also required to do.  The commission based or “fee based” advisors get paid by brokerage firms, insurance companies, banks, mutual funds and/or others for selling products.  It isn’t that the salespeople are unethical it’s just that they can earn a 5% commission by selling Product A and only 2% for selling a lower cost Product B.  Which one do you think they’ll recommend?

 

The other aspect of fee only is that the fees are transparent.  Good financial advice can be expensive, yet extremely valuable if the benefits outweigh the costs.  With commission based products it’s often impossible to sort out all the hidden fees and expenses and who gets paid what. Vintage’s advisors enjoy the fee only benefits of being able to work exclusively for the interests of our clients.