What does "Fee-Only" mean?
This term refers to the method of compensation for the financial planner. Fee-Only Planners are compensated solely by fees paid by their clients and do not accept commissions or compensation from any other source. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) is the largest organization of fee-only Planners. Fee-Only Planners believe there is a significant conflict of interest if an advisor stands to gain financially from the purchase of any product he or she recommends to the client.
Click here for Nevils Financial, LLC's Table of Fees for Services.
How do NAPFA members charge fees?
NAPFA members are independent and have their own methods of determining fees, including:
Flat fee or retainer
An hourly fee
A percentage of assets
A project fee
A percentage of income
What other forms of compensation are used by financial planners?
Some planners are compensated entirely by commissions from the providers of products recommended and sold. Others referred to as "fee-based" or "fee-offset," charge both a fee and receive commissions from selling products. NAPFA members use neither method.
What is comprehensive financial planning?
Comprehensive financial planning reviews all areas of the client's financial situation and develops a course of action to help the client achieve personal goals. A comprehensive plan includes:
Identifying and prioritizing the clients goals
Analyzing the client's current financial position and behavior
Developing an integrated set of recommendations that reconciles the client’s financial position with his or her objectives.
Presenting the financial planning recommendations
Assisting the client to implement those recommendations that the client accepts
Periodically reviewing and revising the plan to adjust to changes in the financial environment or the client's financial position or goals.
What areas are covered in a comprehensive plan?
A comprehensive plan includes analysis and recommendations in appropriate areas including Investments, Cash Flow Management, Income Tax Management, Estate Planning, Risk Management, Retirement Planning, Education Funding, Business Planning, Employee Benefits Planning and Other Specific Client Needs.
Why is it important to get a comprehensive review of all facets of your finances?
In this day and age, your financial health is determined by many interacting factor, only some of which you control. Sorting out the interrelations between these factors to project your financial future is a complicated analytic process. Identifying the most effective actions that you can then take to strengthen your situation requires additional analysis. Many people find professional assistance helpful.
What financial planners are best qualified to develop such a comprehensive plan?
All NAPFA members are professionally qualified. To earn membership in this organization they have demonstrated their ability to provide sophisticated, comprehensive financial planning. Specific requirements include:
Compliance with federal and state investment advisor regulations.
Advanced education in the field or other related credentials.
Significant professional experience.
Peer review of a comprehensive plan.
Extensive continuing education.
Does the planner have any fiduciary responsibility?
Certified Financial Planners™ who provide financial planning services and National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) members are bound by a fiduciary duty to their clients. This means the client’s best interests must be placed before the advisor’s.
Under the NAPFA fiduciary oath members are committed to:
Always act in good faith and candor
Be proactive about disclosing any conflicts of interest
Not accept any compensation that is contingent on any client's purchase or sale of a financial product
Endorsement of NAPFA has been received from the AARP, the Consumer Federation of America and state regulators. Several financial publications have also recognized the value of "Fee-Only" financial planning.
NEWSWEEK - Jane Bryant Quinn
"Financial Planners who take commissions have a built-in conflict of interest...even with disclosure, my choice would be a Fee-Only planner."
"Start with the general practitioner...a Financial Planner (whose) compensation should be from fees alone."
"The most important matter is how the planner is compensated. Hire the planner who...has no financial stake in (your) investments."