Broker Check

Emphasis on Education and Advice

"A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination." - Nelson Mandela

Which would you prefer, a guide for your journey that is experienced with relevant education or a salesperson? How can you tell the difference? Education and how an advisor is compensated makes all the difference.

You need a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®). A CFP® has the education that counts and is most relevant to your voyage.   

  • A CFP® must pass a rigorous two-day, 10-hour exam covering retirement, investments, taxes, insurance and estate planning.
  • The CFP® must stay current by completing 30 hours of continuing education every two years.

The CFP® should be a member of National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).

  • NAPFA is the leading professional association of fee-only financial advisors. It is distinguished both by the competence of its advisors and their method of compensation. 
  • NAPFA requires its members to complete 60 hours of continuing education every two years.

Be sure your CFP® is a fee-only advisor who works for a locally owned Registered Investment Advisoy Firm (RIA).

An advisor compensated by a third-party like a broker-dealer or an insurer may be unduly influenced by them. They represent the company. They answer to whomever pays them, not necessarily you.  Why did they choose the investment or product?  Were they compensated more for the selection? Unbelievably, disclosure is not required. This is a salesperson.

  • Fee-only advisors are compensated by you directly. They represent you and your interests when giving you advice.
  • Fee-only advisors do not accept any fees or compensation based on product sales. 
  • Full disclosure is a requirement.
  • Fee-only advisors have fewer inherent conflicts of interest.
  • Fee-only advisors have a fiduciary responsibility to act in their clients' best interest.

We appreciate the fee-only model because it allows our head, heart, words, and actions to align. Because we are getting paid to do whatever our clients would do if they had our time and expertise, we are free to do just that without concern about how we get paid for the service.