At PDS Planning, we believe you shouldn’t have to pay more for financial planning simply because you are worth more. Instead, we offer a flat, fixed-dollar fee that reflects our work rather than your net worth. Doing so allows us to provide you with a more effective financial planning experience that eliminates sales-based advice and conflicts of interest inherent to commission- and asset-based pricing models.

What Does Fee-Only Mean?

Fee-only planners typically have fewer conflicts of interest, focus on advice, and can offer flexible payment models. Advisors who are fee-only generally put their clients’ interests first, thus carry a fiduciary responsibility because there are no commissions.

The fiduciary standard of care requires that a financial advisor act solely in the client’s best interest when offering personalized financial advice. By hiring a fee-only fiduciary investment advisor to manage your investments, develop a financial plan, or both, you are assured you alone are paying a financial professional who is legally and professionally committed to acting in your best interests.

What Are the Benefits of a Fee-Only Financial Advisor?

Fee-only financial advisors are paid only by you for the work performed on your behalf. This allows your advisor to act as a true fiduciary to do what is right for you. Among the benefits of fee-only include:

  • Transparency
  • No hidden charges
  • No conflicts of interest to sell a certain product line or company offering
  • More predictable costs
  • A focus on advice rather than selling financial products.

What Is the Difference Between Fee-Only and Fee-Based?

Despite similar sounding names, there is a significant difference between fee-only advisors and fee-based advisors. As previously mentioned, a fee-only financial advisor is paid directly by you for the services rendered. On the other hand, fee-based advisors are registered as both investment advisors and brokers, which means they can earn commissions for selling products, such as life insurance or annuities, to the same clients who pay them a fee for investment management services.

Another important distinction when choosing what type of financial advisor is best for you is to consider Investment Advisors who charge an annual fee based on the value of the assets they manage for you — known as assets under management (AUM)-based fees. While some advisors are fee-only, the size of their fee is contingent upon the amount of assets you invest. At PDS, we struggle to find the difference between this model and a commission. Therefore, we embrace a flat dollar fee for our clients, based upon the work that needs and not their investment assets.

How PDS Planning is Different

At PDS, we embrace the true fiduciary responsibility we have to our clients. Our focus is on creating tax-efficient solutions to enhance our clients’ wealth, not our own. By charging our clients a flat, fixed dollar fee, we avoid the inherent conflicts of asset-based pricing models, which is the industry norm. It has been our experience the compound effect of this savings over time can be substantial.

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment, strategy, or product or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this newsletter, will be suitable for your individual situation, or prove successful. This material is distributed by PDS Planning, Inc. and is for information purposes only.  Although information has been obtained from and is based upon sources PDS Planning believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy.  It is provided with the understanding that no fiduciary relationship exists because of this report.  Opinions expressed in this report are not necessarily the opinions of PDS Planning and are subject to change without notice.  PDS Planning assumes no liability for the interpretation or use of this report. Consultation with a qualified investment advisor is recommended prior to executing any investment strategy. No portion of this publication should be construed as legal or accounting advice.  If you are a client of PDS Planning, please remember to contact PDS Planning, Inc., in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives.  All rights reserved.