The Wealthtender Guide to

Flat Fee Financial Advisors

Is a Flat Fee Financial Advisor Right for You?

A growing number of financial advisors offer services for a flat-fee as an alternative to traditional pricing models (e.g. charging you 1% of the value of your portfolio managed by the advisor).

If you’re thinking about hiring a flat fee financial advisor, it’s important to look under the hood to understand what services are offered and how the fee is calculated. For example, a flat fee charged by some financial advisors may include developing a financial plan for you, but not investing your money on your behalf. Other flat fee financial advisors might include investment advisory services.

And just because a financial advisor charges a flat fee doesn’t mean every client will pay the same rate. In many instances the flat fee might be calculated based upon your income, portfolio size and/or the overall complexity of your individual circumstances.

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What Services Will I Receive for a Flat Fee?

Flat fee financial advisors will typically outline exactly what is included in this planning service, with different tiers for more comprehensive planning. For example, the flat fee may include creating a detailed financial plan for your debt, goals, investments and more. Be sure to ask upfront if the financial advisor will implement the plan for your investments on your behalf or if they will leave it up to you to follow the details of the plan.

In certain instances, you may only require a flat-fee financial advisor’s work one time (in which case, you may want to consider an hourly financial advisor, though the same financial advisor may offer both pricing models and should be able to steer you to the pricing model likely best for your individual needs).

How Much Does a Flat Fee Financial Advisor Really Cost?

Clients of flat fee financial advisors often work together for many years where the flat fee is re-calculated annually, and often billed quarterly. The cost of hiring a flat fee financial advisor can vary significantly from $1,000 to $10,000 per year (or more), depending on the scope and detail of the financial plan provided, whether or not investment management is involved and the complexity of your circumstances.

Should I Hire a Financial Advisor Who Charges a Flat Fee?

If you plan to establish a longer-term relationship with a financial advisor who charges you a fixed cost each year, a flat fee financial advisor may be an ideal solution for you. This is especially true if you plan to manage your own investments.

Learn Different Ways You Can Pay for a Financial Advisor
TJ van Gerven CFP headshot

TJ van Gerven, CFP®

Modern Wealth Builders

Q: Why should I consider hiring a financial advisor with flat fee pricing?

TJ: While no type of fee model is perfect, the flat fee model is one of the most transparent and fair advisor-client compensation methods. It helps to remove the conflict of interest of “looking to gather your assets,” as well as a variety of conflicts around paying down debt vs. investing. With a flat fee model, you always know what you’re paying and what you’re paying for. It also allows you to work with an advisor regardless of your assets.

Q: Is there a scenario when a flat fee arrangement may not make sense for me?

TJ: A flat fee model may not make sense for you if you’re looking for a one-off engagement. In that case, you may be better served by an hourly advisor.

View TJ’s Profile on Wealthtender

How To Find The Best Flat Fee Financial Advisor For You

In the coming months, you’ll find an increasing number of flat fee financial advisors featured on Wealthtender and in this guide. Simply scroll down to get to know flat fee financial advisors featured on Wealthtender.

Are You a Flat Fee Financial Advisor?

👋 Hi there! We’re excited to help more people understand the benefits of working with a flat fee financial advisor. And we want to help connect people to the best financial advisors for their individual needs. If you offer services for a flat fee, we encourage you to join our growing community of financial advisors featured on Wealthtender so we can feature you in this guide soon. Click here to learn more and get started.

About the Author
Brian Thorp, Founder and CEO of Wealthtender profile picture

About the Author

Brian Thorp

Brian is CEO and founder of Wealthtender. He and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

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