Why are you fee-only and what does that mean?
We are often asked about our decision to be a fee-only financial planning firm. The term ‘fee’ occasionally throws people off, and we thought we should share about our decision and how it benefits our clients.
When we started the firm in 1990, we made the decision that we didn’t want to be bound to commissions. We wanted the freedom to make decisions based on the unique needs and goals of our clients. In short, we decided to be fee-only before fee-only was cool.
At the most basic level, fee-only simply means we are compensated solely by our clients, not by commission. As fee-only planners, we don’t earn commission from sales and we do not sell our clients products. Instead, we are required to act in the best interest of our clients — an important distinction.
At SH&J, we are paid by a percentage of the money under our management, and a flat fee for financial planning. In essence, our clients pay for our advice and our responsible investment management.
As fee-only planners, we are also proud members of NAPFA, the National Association of Personal Finance Advisors. You can read more about NAPFA standards here. We think the Wall Street Journal summarized their standards and fee-only planners well when they said, “They accept no commissions at all and pledge to act in their clients’ best interests at all times. In many respects, NAPFA standards meet or surpass the requirements needed for a CFP credential,” source.
We’d love to meet with you to talk more about our firm and discuss how we can partner together to help you plan, invest and succeed. Contact us today!