Have Any Questions?
+1 (800) 669-6780

Fee Only Financial Advisor Near Me: Why and How to Choose One?

There are various types of financial advisors out there, but not all of them turn out to be the best for high net worth individuals and families. People with $5 million to $500 million in liquid assets have complex financial needs that require complex financial solutions that are developed precisely for them and work towards their best interests. This is not possible with just any financial advisor.

For customized financial solutions that best align with your goals, you need the best “fee only financial advisor near me.” So, instead of searching for just any financial advisor, you need to search for the right “fee only financial advisor near me.” Read our helpful guide on how to pick a financial advisor for investors with assets worth $10 million or more to learn why this type of advisor is so crucial.

wealth management interview questions


7 Secrets To High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax and Financial Planning

The insights you’ll discover from our published book will help you integrate a variety of wealth management tools with financial planning, providing guidance for your future security alongside complex financial strategies, so your human and financial capital will both flourish.

Clients frequently share with us how the knowledge gained from this book helped provide them tremendous clarity, shattering industry-pitched ideologies, while offering insight and direction in making such important financial decisions.

Wealth managers and advisors at Pillar Wealth Management hold more than thirty years of experience working in this industry and dealing with high net worth clients. We provide a range of financial and advisory services, such as retirement planning, investment management, tax planning, and more, to push our clients towards financial success and security. Be it managing a portfolio or drafting an insurance plan, we care about more than just the numbers and performance. We aim to fulfill your personal goals and targets so that you can live the life you want. 

Read about why performance isn’t everything from our guide on how to improve the performance of your portfolio for multi-millionaires.

In this blog, we’ll be answering your questions, like “what is a fee only financial advisor?”, “Should I use a fee only financial advisor near me?”, “How do I find such an advisor?”, and “how much should I pay them?” Let’s dive right in.

Loader image

Fee-only financial planning comprises services for which the planner or advisor is paid only by fees from customers. They are not paid commissions on the sale of financial products or investments.

Having a fee-only advisor reduces conflicts of interest, although the advisor may still hold biases. A fee-only fiduciary advisor should disclose any conflicts of interest.

The most common fee is based on a percentage of the value of the assets managed by the advisor, averaging around 1%. An advisor may also charge a flat annual fee or an hourly fee.

A fee-only financial planner should provide most of the financial services you may need. The fees should be transparent, and the advisor should disclose any conflicts of interest.

Fidelity offers $0 commissions for online US trades but charges fees for managing accounts, ranging from 0,20% to 0.49%. Fidelity charges $1 per bond or CD in secondary trading.

The major advantage is that the advisor does not earn commissions, which greatly reduces conflicts of interest. They receive no other compensation than the fees paid by customers.

Fee-only advisors are compensated by fees paid by their customers. The fee may be a percentage of the assets managed by the advisor; it may be a flat fee, hourly fee, or fee per service.

You may pay more for a fee-only advisor, but the difference is worth it because you can be confident that the advisor is not biased in their product recommendations.

You can expect unbiased advice, and the advisor should disclose any conflicts of interest. The fees should be transparent, and the advisor should answer any questions you may have about their fees.

What is a Fee Only Financial Advisor

What is a Fee Only Financial Advisor?

There are several types of financial advisors. There are financial planners, broker-dealers, investment brokers, wealth managers, and a few more. Then, there are the fiduciary and non-fiduciary types. In addition to that, there are also different types of advisors according to how they are compensated. The three main types are:

  1. Fee only financial advisors
  2. Commission only financial advisors
  3. Fee based financial advisors

Let’s see what each of them does.

1. Fee Only Advisors

As the name suggests, fee only financial advisors charge a management fee only for their services, and that’s it. The more they help you grow your wealth, the more they earn as well. So, it’s in their best interests as well to help you succeed as much as possible. However, that’s not all there is to it. Even within the fee only advisors, there are a few other types, such as:

One-time flat fees

A one-time flat fee means that you simply pay the advisor only one time. You can discuss your financial situation, and they will recommend certain actions or decisions, and that’s where your relationship ends. Then, you’re all on your own. This is okay if you’re consulting them regarding some very specific aspect of your wealth or short-term plans.

However, you can’t simply keep following their recommendations for the next ten or twenty years. Not only will the market changes make those suggestions and advice irrelevant, but your own financial situation and needs would have also changed.

Percentage-based fees

A percentage-based fee is the opposite of a one-time fee. This kind of fee is charged on an ongoing basis where high net worth clients require constant recommendations and management of their finances. Advisors working on a percentage-based fee are actively involved in your financial planning and execution to some extent.

They know about your goals and are always adjusting your plan to mirror those goals. For high net worth individuals and families who either lack the time or expertise to handle their own wealth, this type of fee is ideal, and you can learn more about it by chatting with our managers at Pillar Wealth Management.

Hourly fees

The hourly fee is a mixture of both fees mentioned above. Individuals can consult with the advisors from time to time and simply pay for the services rendered then and there. Again, it is better than the one-time fee, but it can be quite inefficient and inconvenient as you will have to bring your advisor up to speed every time.

2. Commission Only Advisors

Commission-only advisors work on commission. They recommend products and securities, and every time they buy and sell them, they earn a commission. As you can probably tell, these kinds of advisors are often tempted to focus more on their own earnings than on yours. They might push you to invest in products that do nothing for your net worth but earn them hefty commissions.

3. Fee Based Advisor

A fee based advisor is a mixture of commission and fee only advisors. They do charge some basic fee, but if they are dealing with some other products, they might charge a commission on them too. Sometimes, they will disclose this and sometimes, they might not. Therefore, the safest option is to go for a fee only financial advisor near me.

Should I Use a Fee Only Financial Advisor Near Me?

Should I Use a Fee Only Financial Advisor Near Me?

  1. No Conflict of Interest
  2. Expertise
  3. Range of Services
  4. Expense Managemen
  5. Constant Evaluation and Adjustments

A financial advisor can be incredibly convenient, if not absolutely necessary, for high net worth individuals. Moreover, when it’s also a “fee only financial advisor near me,” you can rest assured that your financial planning and decision-making is in good hands. Here are five reasons why you should definitely use a “fee only financial advisor near me.”

1. No Conflict of Interest

As mentioned earlier, with other types of financial advisors, there’s always the risk of conflict of interest. They might be interested in growing their wealth more than yours. However, with a “fee only financial advisor near me,” your advisor’s interests align with your interests, so you can expect them to work for you without any conflict of interest.

The more they help you, the more they help themselves. With a conflict of interest, your advisor will simply be taking you towards an uncertain retirement and financial position. Find out why and some other signs of a bad financial advisor by reading our exclusive guide on how to go about choosing the best advisor for yourself.

2. Expertise

Financial advisors also tend to have a lot of knowledge and expertise in wealth management and other financial services. They know how to handle large portfolios according to clients’ goals and targets, develop elaborate retirement and estate plans, protect the clients’ assets, minimize their expenses, and a lot more. They know all the ins and outs of the industry and know exactly how to capitalize on market opportunities.

3. Range of Services

Depending on the type of financial advisor you choose, you can also expect them to be familiar with and offer guidance regarding a wide range of financial and wealth management services. Instead of going to several different people for different services, you can expect financial advisors like wealth managers to look over all aspects of your wealth and assets.

Managers and advisors at Pillar Wealth Management are well-experienced with various financial services such as risk management, investment management, retirement planning, tax optimization and more. Learn about the full range of our services by contacting one of our advisors.

4. Expense Management

A “fee only financial advisor near me” can also help you minimize your expenses. So, if that’s one of your concerns, you should definitely use a financial advisor. Their extensive expertise allows them to adopt smart strategies that help keep your expenses, such as taxes and internal costs, low while maintaining high returns from your investments.

Moreover, they also always keep you in the loop as to what expenses you can expect and what you can avoid. For more insights like these, order a free copy of our book, The Art of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios and Estates – Strategies for Families Worth $25 million to $500 million.

5. Constant Evaluation and Adjustments

Like we said earlier, times are always changing. What might seem like a good strategy right now might become obsolete within the next five or ten years. Therefore, even if you have created a comprehensive financial plan with your advisor, you can’t just stick it in the drawer and blindly keep following it.

As the industry evolves, the market conditions shift, and as your own financial situation and goals change, you will want to adjust your financial plan accordingly. A financial advisor can keep an eye on all these and make necessary adjustments as needed.

How Do I Find the Right Fee Only Financial Advisor Near Me?

How Do I Find the Right Fee Only Financial Advisor Near Me?

  1. Reputation and Credentials
  2. Experience
  3. Personalization

Understanding why you need them is probably the easy part. You must be convinced already and thinking, “how do I find a fee only financial advisor near me?” Well, here’s where it gets tricky. It’s easy to find any financial advisor, but what you need is the right financial advisor for you. Here are a few ways you can find one. If you want to learn about it in more detail, go through our extensive guide on finding the right financial advisor for investors worth $10 million or more.

1. Reputation and Credentials

Reputation can tell you a lot about how good a financial advisor is. Don’t just take their word for it when they say they are the best, or they can make you the richest person in the world. Simply see what kind of reputation they have. Moreover, along with that, check their credentials, certifications and other details through a proper background check.

2. Experience

Even if they have an excellent reputation and all the right credentials, there are some things that only come with the right experience. Therefore, make sure they have adequate experience of working in the industry, offering those specific services, and most importantly, working with high net worth clients specifically.

3. Personalization

The right advisor for you will actually be concerned with your goals and targets specifically. Accordingly, they will spend some time understanding your needs and coming up with personalized financial solutions.

How Much Should I Expect to Pay a Fee Only Financial Advisor Near Me?

How Much Should I Expect to Pay a Fee Only Financial Advisor Near Me?

  1. Management Fee
  2. Money Management Style

You’ve decided to go with a “fee only financial advisor near me,” but you still need to understand how much fee you will be paying. There are two aspects to this.

1. Management Fee

Since it is a simple fee, you can expect to pay some percentage of the amount of Assets Under Management (AUM). Usually, this percentage is around 1%. However, depending on various factors, this can also go over 2% or fall to less than 0.5%. These management fees also tend to drop lower as the net worth increases.

2. Money Management Style

How much you should expect to pay your “fee only financial advisor near me” also depends on their money management style. Certain styles call for a lot of active involvement, regular execution of transactions and constantly watching the market trends. This leads to higher management fees. In comparison, some advisors adopt a more laid-back approach and proceed with things slowly but carefully.

As a result, they charge a much lower fee. So, ultimately, how much you should expect to pay depends on a few factors. You can learn more about the impact of these management styles by reading our handy guide on the shifts you must make to maximize the growth of your portfolio. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our advisors and get your questions answered directly.


Fee-Only vs. Fee-Based Financial Planning    

The terms “fee-only” and fee-based” are used to describe the compensation structure for financial services. Fee-only advisors’ compensation includes only the fees paid by customers. Fee-only advisors do not receive commissions on the products they sell, nor any other compensation for sales. This reduces the potential for conflicts of interest.

A fee-based advisor is paid fees from their clients and may also earn commissions.

How Do Fee-Only Financial Planners Get Paid?  

Fee-only advisors can be paid in various ways. They may charge a flat monthly or annual fee, an hourly rate, or a percentage of the assets under management. The percentage fee is widely used, but the percentages also vary widely, so you’ll want to get informed about these fees before hiring an advisor.

Regardless of the fee structure adopted by your advisor, the fees should be transparent. Your interests will be best served by an advisor who is both a fiduciary and fee-only.

Learn More About the Fee-Only Model   

There are various organizations that provide information about compensation models, such as the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (napfa.org), the Certified Financial Planners Board (cfp.net), and feeonlynetwork.com.    

What Can a Fee-Only Advisor Do for You?               

Your financial goals will determine which financial services you need, and once you’ve hired an advisor, you will work together to formulate a financial plan to meet those goals.

Your advisor can help you with budgeting and saving for retirement; they can advise you on your existing retirement accounts and on selecting new retirement investments. If you own a business, they can help you build a retirement plan for you and your employees.

Depending on your needs, a fee-only advisor will recommend an investment portfolio that takes into account your risk tolerance. They can also advise you on investment products you already have, without your having to sell and reinvest those products.

Your advisor can recommend insurance products to better protect yourself, your family, and your property.

If you have loans, your advisor can help you manage your debt, including cash flow.

Disadvantages of Fee-Only Financial Advisors        

Unless they are a fiduciary, a fee-only advisor can still be biased in their recommendations. They may also be more costly because they depend on customers that can pay their fees. Moreover, they may not provide all the services you need because they are restricted in the products they can sell.

Where to Find a Fee-Only Financial Planner

An internet search will provide all the information you need to find a fee-only financial planner. Some will be located in your area, and some will be available virtually. Sites such as the CFP Board, Fee-Only Network, XY Planning Network, and NAPFA have search features for finding an advisor.

Choosing a Fee Only Financial Advisor Near Me

When searching for a “fee only financial advisor near me,” you should take into account several things. You should know beforehand exactly which services you require so that you can choose the right type of financial advisor for yourself. Besides all other things, we suggest always going for a “fee only financial advisor near me” as they face no conflicts of interest, which gives you the assurance that your hired advisor is doing everything he can to help you achieve your goals.

Pillar Wealth Management is a 100% fee only wealth management firm. Unlike other big financial institutions, we are extremely interested and pretty much obsessed with helping our clients achieve all their short and long-term financial goals and aspirations. Using our extensive range of financial and wealth management services, in-depth knowledge, expertise, and experience spanning over three decades, our managers and advisors develop personalized financial plans according to each client’s unique situation. Book your own consultation session today and get started on your customized financial plan.


To be 100% transparent, we published this page to help filter through the mass influx of prospects, who come to us through our website and referrals, to gain only a handful of the right types of new clients who wish to engage us.

We enjoy working with high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors and families who want what we call financial serenity – the feeling that comes when you know your finances and the lifestyle you desire have been secured for life, and that you don’t have to do any of the work to manage and maintain it because you hired a trusted advisor to take care of everything.

More from authors.