September 15th, 2020
Two Simple Ways to Find a Financial Planner you can Trust
With so many options out there, it may seem like a daunting task to find a Financial Planner you can fully trust. Designations aside, there are two easy steps you can take to ensure you find a Planner who will act in your best interest.
First and foremost, make sure they are a fiduciary. This means they have an ethical and legal duty to act in your best interest. Not all Planners or Advisors are fiduciaries.
Second, there are various ways in which an advisor charges for their services.
A fee-only Planner only collects a set amount from you. They do not make any commission based on the trades they make on your behalf nor from any products they advise you to buy.
On the flip side, commission based Advisors are compensated through the investments and products they are selling to you. Thus, there are huge conflicts of interest! If your advisor is unwilling to describe their specific relations with other companies, this is a huge red flag.
Think about it this way, you are working with a commission-based financial planner and there are two products that will fit your needs. Product A pays the commission based Advisor a huge commission while product B pays them a very small commission, yet is the better product for you. Which do you think the Advisor will sell you? Likely, product A and it is even more likely they will not even tell you about product B.
Fee-only Planners do not face these conflicts.