The Smart Choice for Financial Planning: Fee-Based, Fiduciary, Certified Financial Planners

August 28, 2023


When it comes to managing your finances and working toward a stable financial future, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. The financial world can be complex and challenging to navigate, which is why having a qualified advisor by your side is crucial. However, not all financial planners are created equal. In this blog post, we'll explore the importance of choosing a fee-based, fiduciary focused, and certified financial planner for your financial planning needs.

  1. Fee-Based vs. Commission-Based

One of the most critical decisions you'll make when seeking financial advice is whether to work with a fee-based or commission-based advisor. Fee-based advisors charge a transparent fee for their services, usually based on a percentage of assets under management. This fee structure aligns their interests with yours: the more your investments grow, the more they earn. On the other hand, commission-based advisors may earn fees by selling financial products, which can create a conflict of interest, as their income depends on the products they recommend.

We are independent advisors, which means we, not the corporate headquarters, set our fees, customized to each client. This keeps the fees absolutely as low as possible for our clients without sacrificing an ounce of performance. In face, because we cut out the middle man, we typically offer MORE service for less cost! 

  1. Fiduciary Duty

The term "fiduciary" is of utmost importance when selecting a financial planner. A fiduciary is legally bound to act in the advisory clients' best interest at all times. This means they are obligated to provide you with advice that is solely focused on your financial well-being, without any conflicts of interest.

Non-fiduciary advisors, like those working on commission, are only required to recommend "suitable" investments. This lower standard of care can leave room for potentially biased recommendations that may not be in your best interest. Fiduciaries, on the other hand, are held to a higher standard having to work in their advisory clients' best interests. 

  1. Certification Matters - Choose a Certified Financial Planner

Another crucial factor to consider is the certification and qualifications of your financial planner. Certified financial planners (CFPs) undergo rigorous training and must adhere to a strict code of ethics. They have a comprehensive understanding of various financial planning topics, including investments, taxes, estate planning, and retirement.

Choosing a CFP is an indicator that your advisor has the knowledge and expertise needed to create a customized financial plan tailored to your unique goals and circumstances. Moreover, CFPs are required to engage in continuing education, keeping them up-to-date with the latest financial strategies and market developments.

Finally, CFPs are experienced in 57 areas of financial advice, including: estate planning, tax planning, risk management, investment planning, income planning, social security, Medicare, 401ks, Roth IRAs, real estate income, small business advisory and so many more. We live in a time where anyone can "Google" or "ChatGPT" answers to a specific topic. What you want to hire is a person who can synthesize your specific situation with all of the qualified areas I just outlined!


In the ever-changing world of finance, making the right decisions for your financial future can be daunting. However, by selecting a fee-based, fiduciary focused, CFP, you are giving yourself the best odds at success.