At Define Financial, we like to have one or two introductory meetings before bringing a new client onboard. These meetings give us a chance to determine if the firm is a good fit for the person seeking out financial planning advice. The meeting format usually opens with the prospective client explaining what their burning financial issues are. From there, we explain how our firm works – specifically that we are fee-only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professionals and pledged fiduciaries.
And with just that single sentence I’ve brought up a whole slew 0f new subject matter. Here’s the cliff notes:
- Fee-Only: No commissions and no hidden fees. The only compensation we receive comes from our clients directly.
- Fiduciary: As a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), we are required by law to act in a fiduciary capacity when serving clients. Put simply, our clients’ interest must be ahead of ours at all times.
- CFP® Professional: The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation means we are on top of our game. Only 25% of all financial advisors in the industry can claim this distinction.
Now that I’ve completed that little detour on explaining the value of working with a fee-only CFP® Professional pledged as a fiduciary, let’s return to the ground covered during our introductory meetings at Define Financial. After explaining the above, I usually add the following to the conservation with our prospective clients:
Of all the things I say during this call, know that this is the most important: You do not have to work with us – but please only ever work with a fee-only fiduciary.
So, allow me to present you several options for finding a fee-only financial planner:
- National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
- XY Planning Network – specializes in working with Millennial clients
- Garrett Planning Network – offers limited engagements and hourly billing
- San Diego Financial Advisers Network – fee-only financial planners in San Diego