How Do Financial Advisors and Planner Charge?

Financial planners can be paid in a variety of ways, and each has its merits. Choosing the appropriate method depends on your individual situation. FPA advocates for the highest standards for competent and ethical planners, regardless of compensation or business model. However, before entering into a relationship with a planner, you should have a clear understanding of how he or she will be compensated.


Denotes the compensation generated from a transaction involving a product or service and received by an agent or broker, usually calculated as a percentage on the amount of his or her sales or purchase transactions. This includes 12(b)1 fees, trailing commissions, surrender charges and contingent deferred sales charges.

Fee Only

A certificant may describe his or her practice as “fee-only” if, and only if, all of the certificant’s compensation from all of his or her client work comes exclusively from the clients in the form of fixed, flat, hourly, percentage or performance-based fees.

Commission and Fee

If a CFP® professional and any related party receives or is entitled to receive both commissions and fees for providing professional activities, the CFP® professional must disclose his or her compensation as “Commission and Fee.”

to a segment from Jill On Money featuring Janet A Stanzak, CFP®, discussing how advisers are compensated.

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