What is the difference between a fee-based vs fee-only financial planner?


Although the terms fee-based and fee-only sound very similar, there are some important differences every investor should understand. Fee-only advisors do not receive any compensation based on product sales. Because fee-only financial advisors are compensated by their clients, they are able to provide fiduciary-level advice, acting only in the best interests of their client. Fee-based firms charge an investment management fee to their clients similar to the fee charged by fee-only firms. However, fee-based advisors also collect commissions based upon the products they sell in addition to the fees collected from their clients. Financial Strategies was one of the first fee-only Milwaukee financial planning firms. We do not collect commissions, referral fees or any other fees based upon the products we recommend.




What does a fee-only financial advisor cost?


The first thing to keep in mind is that a fee-only advisor does not earn commissions. There are several ways a fee-only financial advisor can be compensated. If you are interested in only having a Comprehensive Financial Plan, then, depending on the complexity of your situation you may pay the advisor a fee anywhere from $1,000, if your situation is relatively straightforward or the plan could cost $10,000 or more if your situation is complex. If your situation calls for both a Comprehensive Financial Plan along with managing of your assets such as IRA’s, 401(k)’s, investment accounts then you may end up paying a percentage of assets under management. Typical is in the 1.0%-1.5% range. Some advisors will waive their Financial Planning Fee in this arrangement. There are also planners that charge you an hourly fee or a retainer fee. No matter which model you determine is suitable for you, just like anything else, make sure you have a firm understanding of how you are paying and what services you will be receiving.




How often do you meet with your clients?


Initially, we begin our working relationship with 1 – 3 financial exploration meetings to develop your financial plan, followed by 3 – 5 advanced financial planning meetings to implement your plan. For more complex financial situations, we will hold additional meetings as needed. Once these meetings are complete and your plan is implemented, we will meet as often as you need, at least annually, to review your progress.




Will you work with my CPA, attorney, and other advisors?


Absolutely. We often partner with outside advisors such as CPAs and attorneys to ensure that every professional advisor you retain is fully informed of your goals and plans for the future.




Do I have enough money to retire?


This does not have an easy, one-size-fits-all answer. How much money you need to retire depends on your goals, values, and life style. Although you can find retirement calculators online telling you if you are ready, the best way to know if you are prepared is to talk to a financial planner to analyze your situation and create a retirement plan specific for you.




Do you offer a free consulation?


Yes! You can schedule a consulation with us to see if we are a good fit for you. We believe that it is important for you to work with someone who makes you feel comfortable. At the consultation you can get to know us and ask us all your questions. We will also ask you questions to make sure we can fit your needs. There is no commitment until you feel ready and confident.




What is your investment philosophy?


We believe the portfolio as a whole is more important than an individual security. The appropriate allocation of capital among asset classes (stocks, bonds, cash, etc.) will have far more influence on long-term portfolio results than the selection of individual securities. Investing for the long term (preferably longer than ten years) becomes critical to investment success because it allows the long-term characteristics of the asset classes to surface. We believe that it is virtually impossible to know ahead of time the next direction of the market as a whole or any individual security. It is unlikely that any portfolio will succeed in consistently “beating the market.” Instead, we strive for consistent long-term growth.





Frequently Asked Questions

 

Have more questions?

We are happy to answer any additional questions you may have!

Tel: 262-821-1664