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

Fee-Only Financial Planner Near Me: Why and How

Do you often find yourself wondering, “Who is the best fee-only financial planner near me?” You’re not alone! Truth be told, not every financial planner is ideal for managing the wealth of high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals like you with over $10 million in liquid assets. With such massive investable wealth come complex financial problems.

You must also know that financial planners get paid in various ways. Only the best “fee-only financial planner near me” can help you protect and grow your portfolio while keeping your short and long-term financial goals in mind. If you’re tired of typing “best fee-only financial planner near me” in the Google search bar only to see general advice, we urge you to read our helpful guide on how to choose the right financial advisor to achieve financial serenity in the long run.

You can find some of the best and most reliable wealth managers at Pillar Wealth Management, which offers exceptional fee-only financial planning services to individuals who have accumulated wealth worth $5 to $500 million. Our experts have been in the wealth management field for more than three decades. We have managed to set ourselves apart in the industry by leveraging innovative tools and techniques to devise fully customized wealth management plans for our clients. We won’t only help you minimize your financial risks and protect your assets and preserve your wealth in the best possible way but also improve your portfolio performance over time. Click here to talk to one of our experts about our services.

This article will help you gain an in-depth understanding of fee-only financial planning for high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals by answering frequently asked questions like:

  • What does fee-only financial planning mean?
  • What is the difference between fee-based and fee-only financial planning services?
  • How do I find a fee-only financial planner?
  • Who are the best financial advisors?

Let’s get started!

What Does Fee-Only Financial Planning Mean?

Fee-only financial planning means that a professional earns compensation solely from the fee they charge their clients. This means they don’t earn kickbacks, referral fees, or commissions for recommending or selling certain products.

As an expert, “a fee-only financial planner near me” is required to act as a fiduciary, meaning they have an obligation to set their clients’ interests and satisfaction as their topmost priorities. The fee charged by a “fee-only financial planner near me” for their services can be flat charges, hourly rate, or a percentage of clients’ assets they are supposed to manage.

Needless to say, opting for “a fee-only financial planner near me” is a safe way of reducing potential conflicts of interest, which is a common problem with fee-based services.

What is the Difference between Fee-Based and Fee-Only Financial Planning?

Many high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals fail to understand the difference between fee-based and fee-only financial planning services. We admit that the two sound strikingly similar but there is a big difference in their earning approach.

Contrary to a “a fee-only financial planner near me,” those offering fee-based financial planning services are not only paid by their clients but also from additional sources, such as referral fees or commissions from the products that their clients purchase based on their recommendation. They may receive the extra money from a mutual fund company, brokerage firm, an insurance company, or investment partnership.

In other words, they are registered representatives who are supposed to sell products that are “suitable” to their clients. According to the notorious suitability standard, if two products are appropriate based on your financial status and goals, the financial planner is likely to recommend the one that pays them a higher commission even if it is not the best and most cost-effective choice for you.

Keeping this in mind, you should avoid agreeing to invest in certain high-performing products when there is a risk it can backfire. As a high net worth or ultra high net worth individual, you shouldn’t only focus on growing your wealth but also protecting it from unnecessary risks. This type of shift is essential for you to get closer to achieving your financial goals. Click here to find out which other crucial shifts you need to make for successful wealth management.

That being said, “a fee-based financial planner near me” should disclose all the fees they receive so that you can make a well-informed decision. It is common for a conflict of interest to arise when it comes to fee-based financial planning services since the expert charges you for the advice while convincing you to purchase an investment product that earns them a profit.

fee-only financial planner near me

Why does a fee-only financial planner make sense?

Fee-only financial planners are compensated only by the fees paid by the client. They do not accept commissions. As an annual fee, most fee-only financial planners charge a percentage of the value of the assets under management, which can range from 0.50% to 2.00%. So, the more assets, the higher the fee. However, some planners charge a flat annual fee.

For a fiduciary fee-only advisor, the fiduciary duty is to always recommend what’s best for the client, and conflicts of interest must be disclosed to the client.

In contrast, a fee-based compensation model allows the advisor to charge fees, paid by the client, while also earning commissions. This may create conflicts of interest, and the planner should disclose those conflicts. Fee-based advisors may be fiduciaries under the suitability rule, which allows them to accept a commission as long as the product is suitable. A competent, trustworthy advisor will fully disclose how they are paid, as well as any conflicts of interest.

Why Work with a “Fee-Only Financial Planner Near Me”?

Now that you know the difference between fee-based and fee-only financial planning services, you may have figured that going for the latter is the best bet for you. There is no doubt that fee-only financial planning is perhaps the most transparent method. On top of that, “a fee-only financial planner near me” can often offer flexible payment models.

Once you decide to try expert financial planning services, you’ll obviously want a trustworthy “fee-only financial planner near me” who knows the ins and outs of high net worth financial planning. Moreover, a simple and flexible payment structure will be a cherry on top. This will ensure that you aren’t blindsided by a conflict of interest.

As explained earlier, “a fee-only financial planner near me” will be paid by you and you only. You won’t feel like you’re working with a salesperson. Most importantly, you can rest assured that the advice you receive from them is in your best interest.

Below are the top four reasons for choosing “a fee-only financial planner near me” over a fee-based expert.

1. Fewer Conflicts of Interest

For starters, “a fee-only financial planner near me” will not have an incentive to promote certain products. They are more interested in what would work out in your best interest in the long run, so they don’t peddle an expensive product you don’t need.

That being said, it is nearly impossible to entirely eliminate conflicts from the equation. If you have “a fee-only financial planner near me” who charges a certain percentage of your assets under management, they may advise you against taking out money from those accounts to pay off your mortgage.

But overall, you can rest assured that you’re working with a fiduciary who is legally bound to act in your best interest. Nevertheless, it is always best to ask them if they have a legal responsibility to put your needs and benefits above everything else.

2. Primary Focus is on Advice

Since “a fee-only financial planner near me” is only paid for giving advice, they don’t push you to buy certain financial products. While working with you to come up with a comprehensive financial plan, they may not even discuss a product. The whole conversation will likely be about making smart financial choices on the journey to achieving true financial security.

3. Help Goes beyond Investing

Typically, fee-only financial planners possess extensive knowledge of financial matters apart from investment portfolio management. They are the ideal person to turn to when you need help with sorting your long-term financial goals.

4. Payment Flexibility

While many fee-only financial planners have a flat fee for their service, some may charge by the hour or take a percentage of the amount of money under management. Sometimes, an expert may use all of these approaches to offer the best fee structure to you.

You must always ask your financial planner about their fee and confirm that they don’t earn any commissions. It is ideal to consult with multiple financial planners and compare costs before choosing to work with one.

You can schedule a free consultation session with Pillar Wealth Management to find out more about what a fee-only financial planner can do for you.

Now that you know why working with a fee-only financial planner is a smart decision, you must be wondering, “How can I find the best fee-only financial planner near me?”

Fee-only or fee-based financial planner: Which is best for me?

Because fee-only advisors do not earn commissions, their advice can be unbiased, and they can recommend the products they feel are best for the client, which makes their financial plans more comprehensive. They can concentrate on helping you meet your financial goals.

Moreover, many fee-only advisors are fiduciaries, which means they can focus on your interests, not theirs. There is more transparency in fees and charges, so you can see the impact on your returns.

Yet, if a fee-only advisor lacks experience or skill, they may not be the best advisor for you. Because they don’t earn commissions, they can be more expensive. They may not be free to recommend certain products, which means you would have to go elsewhere for that service.

Regardless of the compensation model used by the advisor, the overall cost of the services they provide can be a factor in deciding which type of advisor to use.

1. Low-cost, investment-only help

Online robo-advisors are the lowest-priced option for investment advice. Based on data from a questionnaire, the software builds a portfolio of investments for the client. The robo-advisor provides asset rebalancing based on the client’s income expectations and risk tolerance. Fees may be 0.5% of asset value, or even less. Any minimum account balance will usually be small.

2. Mid-range financial planning and portfolio management  

For a higher fee, you can get online portfolio management along with advice from a human advisor online. Fees will vary depending on the advice you need, so you should consult the website for more details. Larger account balances may be required.

3. Higher-end, in-person, traditional financial management

The highest-priced option is to hire a financial advisor who is always available to provide advice. A personal advisor can prepare a financial plan and build your investment portfolio. They will monitor and rebalance your portfolio as needed and meet with you periodically to review your financial plan. A personal advisor may follow a fee-based or fee-only compensation model. They often have a significant account balance requirement.

How Do I Find a Fee-Only Financial Planner Near Me?

Finding a fee-only financial planner who understands your financial status, challenges, and goals may seem like an overwhelming task. If you don’t want to take a big risk, you can always start by asking your friends, colleagues, and family members if they know of any good financial planners. Just make sure the person you’re asking for a recommendation is in a similar financial situation as you, especially because ultra high net worth wealth management requires extra careful planning.

Below are a few other reliable places to look for a suitable “fee-only financial planner near me.”

National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)

The online search option offered by NAPFA is an excellent tool for finding an experienced “fee-only financial planner near me.” You can trust NAPFA because they only register financial advisors who have significant experience as well as a fiduciary duty. Moreover, all financial planners on this platform offer fee-only services.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board

The CFP board also features a directory of financial planners with years of experience in the field. However, you will find both fee-only and fee-based advisors on this platform. So, you’ll have to discuss the fee policy and structure before hiring an expert. That being said, you can rest assured that all the planners you consult with through this platform will be educated, ethical, and highly experienced.

Garrett Planning Network

Garrett Planning Network is a fee-only planner organization that aims to connect people with expert financial planners. These professionals charge at an hourly rate. You may find that some GPN members are also a part of NAPFA. That’s because the missions of the two organizations overlap.

Apart from these platforms, you can find some of the best fee-only financial planners at Pillar Wealth Management. Before you begin your search, make sure you read our exclusive guide on finding the right financial advisor for high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals.

Who Are the Best Financial Advisors?

There’s no denying that choosing a reliable and knowledgeable financial planner is one of the biggest and most important financial decisions you will make.

So, what qualities should you be looking for in a financial planner? Here’s a list of the top five attributes you should consider.

1. Good Reputation

When you’re searching for a good financial planner, getting a referral from someone you know can be the first step in the right direction. You would want to gather important information about the company the advisor works for. How long have they been in the business? Are they local? How their track record is like?

2. Ability to Think and Act Proactively

The best financial advisors are proactive. They strive to keep the lines of communication open and transparent at all times so that you stay on top of challenges and opportunities. Moreover, they are willing to help you understand complex concepts related to ultra high net worth wealth financial planning. You shouldn’t waste your time or money on a financial planner who withholds information and doesn’t bother explaining their recommendations or actions to you.

Smart asset allocation is a crucial aspect of successful financial planning for the wealthy, and it warrants a proactive approach. You can discover ways to find a financial planner who is well-equipped to help you allocate your assets with prudence for successful investment management by reading our guide here.

3. Experience

Your financial planner should have years of experience working with high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals. An industry-recognized certification will be a bonus. No matter how professional an advisor seems by the way they talk or dress, make sure you verify their experience and credentials. Even if a friend or family member recommends someone, do your due diligence to ensure a safe and pleasant experience.

You can get in touch with us anytime to discuss your financial needs and goals, and we’ll connect you with one of the best fee-only financial planners in your area.

4. Holistic, Client-Centered Approach

Successful financial planners always look at the bigger picture. They take the time to learn about your situation in detail by taking a holistic view of your finances. You can expect them to discuss your needs, lifestyle, spending habits, and short and long-term financial goals. With the help of the information gathered, they will devise a meaningful strategy to help you achieve financial serenity and improve portfolio performance.

Don’t know how portfolio performance affects your financial health? Click here to access our guide on the importance of optimizing your portfolio performance.

5. Analytical Skills

Some prominent aspects of financial planning include investment management, estate planning, tax planning, and retirement planning. No financial advisor can be successful without good analytical skills. They must know how to analyze a financial portfolio in order to come up with a personalized solution for each client. Strong analytical skills are also a prerequisite for helping clients make sound financial decisions in challenging situations.

At Pillar Wealth Management, you can easily find “a fee-only financial planner near me” who works exclusively with people having $5 million to $500 million in liquid assets. Our financial planning services are aimed at helping you minimize your costs and risks while optimizing your portfolio performance. We utilize unique risk management strategies to protect your wealth in the best possible way. If you want to find out how these strategies work, please read our book, The Art of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios and Estates – Strategies For Families Worth $25 Million To $500 Million.

You can learn more about our services by getting in touch with our team TODAY!

Choose the Best “Fee-Only Financial Planner Near Me” with Pillar Wealth Management

So, are you ready to connect with the best fee-only financial planner in your area?

We know it is a big step but together, we can ensure that it will

Stop wondering, “Where will I find the ideal fee-only financial planner near me?” and book a no-obligation consultation with our experts today!

Frequently Asked Question about Fee Only Financial Planner

Loader image

A fee-only financial advisor does not earn commissions, so they are more likely to be free of conflicts of interest and provide more objective and unbiased advice.

Fee-only financial planners offer financial advisory services. They help clients manage their finances and advise them on investments. They are paid only by their clients’ fees, not by commissions.

Fee-based advisors earn fees and commissions, whereas fee-only advisors earn only fees paid by the client, but any advisor should work for the client’s best interest.

Most fee-only financial advisors are paid based on a percentage of the assets they manage for you. They may also charge based on the scope of the work or a flat fee for a one-time plan or evaluation.

Ask around—someone in your network may be able to recommend someone. Do some research online, where many websites connect investors with advisors who are fee-only.

A fee-only advisor, compensated only by the fees paid by clients, should be able to provide unbiased advice. If they are a fiduciary, they must always put the client’s interests above their own.

A fee-only financial planner can create a financial plan with a strategy to implement the plan, including building an investment portfolio. They are compensated only by the fees paid by clients.

With a fee-only financial advisor, you know they are free of conflicts of interest and can put your interests above their own, which should result in advice that is best suited to meeting your goals.

A fee-only wealth management firm provides financial services to wealthy individuals, typically having at least $250,000 in liquid assets. They are compensated only by the fees paid by clients.

Fee-only financial advisors offer financial services where they are compensated only by their clients’ fees and do not accept commissions. For example, they help clients choose investments.


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.

Related Post

  1. Top Investment Management Firms – For affluent individuals, managing their money and wealth is a big task…
  2. Top Investment Firm – If you’re a high net worth or an ultra-high net worth individual, you need to invest your wealth carefully…
  3. Portfolio Management Services – Investing in high value assets can be rewarding for high net worth and ultra high net…