One of the first questions we always ask a potential client is, ‘how did you hear about us?’ but what we really want to know is ‘how on earth did you find us?’. There aren’t many fee-only financial planner types to begin with and you won’t find us in the usual places where people go for financial advice. People also tell us that it can be difficult to understand the difference between various financial planners’ credentials. As a result, it is also difficult to find a financial planner they can trust. To make matters worse, the different compensation structures and payment models make it even more difficult to find a fee-only financial planner. This article explains what a fee-only financial planner is, and where to find one in Toronto.
What is a fee-only financial planner?
A fee-only financial planner sells financial planning advice only. They do not sell or manage investments, or any other financial products. As a result, they do not receive commissions or product-related compensation of any kind. Nor do they receive fees from referrals that they may make to other professionals, like accountants or lawyers. This means that the client can be assured of receiving independent and objective financial advice – free from any potential conflicts of interest. Fee-only financial planners work with clients of all types, regardless of net worth or asset levels
How does a fee-only financial planner get paid?
A fee-only financial planner provides advice on an hourly or retainer basis. The fee should be transparent and agreed upon in writing at the beginning of your engagement. A fee-only financial planner could be regarded as a second opinion regarding your financial health.
How to find a fee-only financial Planner?
Bespoke Financial Consulting is a fee-only, advice-only financial planning firm located in Toronto. We work with clients in the GTA as well as other provinces. We would be pleased to provide you with fee-only financial planning advice.
In addition to our Toronto-based fee-only financial planning firm, Bespoke Financial Consulting, there are other fee-only financial planners in Toronto and the GTA. The Financial Planning Standards Council’s website (fpsc.ca) offers tips on choosing a financial planner, along with a list of 10 questions to ask a potential financial planner, both of which are valuable resources. You can find links to both of these resources here.
Alternatively, there is also the website for the Institute of Advanced Financial Planners (iafp.ca), the official body that oversees the Registered Financial Planner (R.F.P.) designation. The R.F.P. designation represents the highest standard of excellence for practicing professionals in the industry. On this site, you can search for a financial planner based on variety of criteria, including your geographic area, as well as the fee structure you prefer, whether it’s fee-only, commission-only or a combination of fees and commission. This Find a Planner tool will generate a list of Registered Financial Planners who will work with you the way you want.