One of the reasons Meredith Wealth Planning was founded as a fee-only firm was to remove any potential conflict of interest conflict between the advisor and the client, and to assure clients that they are receiving objective fiduciary advice.
A fee-only registered investment advisor cannot receive commissions or product kickbacks of any sort. The only source of revenue for a fee-only advisor is the annual advisory fee the client pays. A fee-only registered investment advisor is required to adhere to a fiduciary duty at all times with the client.
This helps remove the conflicts of interest when choosing the proper products to help implement a plan. The client no longer has to question whether an investment was recommended because it was in their best interests, or in the best interests of the person recommending it.
Fee-based vs. Fee-only
There is some confusion amongst consumers between fee-based and fee-only advisors. Fee-based advisors are generally dually registered, both as an investment advisor and as a broker, meaning they can receive commissions for product sales and kickbacks in certain situations.
Fee-only advisors are only registered as investment advisors.
As a primarily fee-based advisor for 7+ years at my prior firm, I came to the realization that if I were a consumer, I would not hire someone that did not have to adhere to my best interests at all times (which means I would not hire myself!). That’s when I knew it was time to make a change.