My F&M

How do I know if a fee-only financial advisor is right for me?

Choosing to work with a fee-only advisor allows you to receive unbiased financial advice, while also benefiting from a fiduciary standard of care – the industry’s highest standard of care.

Unbiased advice

In one way or another there is always a cost for financial advice, either through the direct payment to the advisor or indirect payment via commissions paid when investment products (ex. stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities) are bought or sold.

The three most common payment arrangements for financial advisors are fee-only, fee-based and commission-based. Fee-only advisors, like Foster & Motley, only receive compensation from fees paid by clients for financial and investment advice. Fee-based advisors receive some of their compensation from fees paid by client, but they also receive commissions on product sales. Commission-based advisors, like traditional stock brokers or insurance agents, receive all of their compensation from commissions on product sales.

As a fee only advisor, our advice is free from the conflict of interest inherent when recommendations are made on products that the advisor is being paid to sell. Our recommendations are strictly based on what we believe is in your best interest, and not on products that may pay the most generous commissions.

Fiduciary Standard of Care

As a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), Foster & Motley is held to a fiduciary standard. That means, by law, we must act solely in your best interest. We must provide upfront disclosures about our qualifications, how we are compensated, possible conflicts of interest and any history of disciplinary action. As a fiduciary, we are required to always place your interests ahead of our own. Most brokers and other salespeople are not fiduciaries. They are only required to consider whether an investment is suitable to be recommended, and not whether the investment best fits your unique financial goals and circumstances.

When selecting and working with professional advisors, carefully review how and from whom advisors receive their compensation to ensure your best interests are always placed first. At Foster & Motley, it’s our duty to work with you to create a customized plan uniquely tailored to your situation. We believe the fiduciary standard of care is best for clients, and we have structured our business around this principal. As an independent, fee-only, employee-owned firm, you can rest assured that we are always focused on your best interest.