Looking for financial advisor, solo practice vs large group

Home Financial Advisors Looking for financial advisor, solo practice vs large group

  • Avatar chrono 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2
    Joined: 10/02/2018

    Hi all,

    I’m looking for a financial advisor (fee-only) and I see two varieties.  There are those that seem to be 1-person practices, where the CFP does everything.  And there are larger groups that seem to have a team-effort approach, where different people specialize on taxes, investment, etc.  Any advice or experience as to which I should lean toward?



    #154629 Reply
    Avatar ajm184 
    Status: Other Professional
    Posts: 542
    Joined: 07/14/2017

    By ‘fee-only’ are you speaking of an AUM advisor (.5% or 1%) or an hourly flat fee type ($3k for plan/$250/hour)?

    The answer probably depends on what you need (and hopefully matches what you are seeking) and tradeoffs.  As you can imagine, a diverse financial planning practice with the CFP, CPA/tax efficiency, Estate planning, investment manager, portfolio manager, marketing guru’s, etc will have a greater overhead, that you will pay for one way or another.  A one person practice ‘may’ keep their overhead low and have a network of folks they will recommend (tax guy, estate planning, disability insurance, etc.) while they are focused upon budgeting/asset allocations, FP gap identification etc.  For those things the one person doesn’t do, you would be working with others versus the ‘in-house’ approach of multi-specialty firm.

    #154635 Reply
    Liked by chrono
    Avatar chrono 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2
    Joined: 10/02/2018

    Thanks for the feedback.  At this point I don’t have any assetts yet to manage, so I’m looking at hourly/retainer types of fees, although I’m keeping an eye on what their AUM percentages are for when I will have assetts.  I really just need “steering” advice at the moment (how much to contribute to retirement accounts vs house much towards a down payment, how much can I afford for X, etc).  I’m in the Boston area so things get pricey.  I know large groups have more resources but I don’t wanted to treated as an afterthought because I’m not a big fish.

    #154638 Reply
    Scott at MD Financial Services Scott at MD Financial Services 
    Status: Website Sponsor, Insurance Agent, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 399
    Joined: 01/14/2016

    Why don’t you talk to Johanna?  She is very physician focused, highly engaged with WCI, and does exactly what you are asking for being a fee only planner.  If her plate if full she probably has others to refer you to.  Here is a link to her site for your review:

    S. Scott Nelson-Archer, CLU, ChFC with M. D. Financial Services, Inc.
    Direct Phone 713-966-3932, Email [email protected]

    #154639 Reply
    Liked by chrono
    jfoxcpacfp jfoxcpacfp 
    Status: Financial Advisor, Accountant, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 7329
    Joined: 01/09/2016

    Thanks, Scott, I appreciate that. @chrono, it appears that you have done your homework on the big picture view of fee-only FAs. If you believe all you need at this point is a few hours of steering and you are especially fee-sensitive (you’re a freshly-minted attending?), check out the following:

    All members of each org are fee only planners. XY planners tend to be one-person firms, young and hungry, and typically use a monthly subscription service model. Garrett members specialize in hourly advice and usually (imo) have more experience. Both groups have a lot of respect in the fee-only community but Garrett has been around much longer and the average advisor-member probably has more experience.

    Another thought is NAPFA. This is the most well-known organization of fee-only planners, but you’re going to find planners all over the board and it will be more difficult to vet. You might check that the advisors you are looking at are already members of NAPFA, though. For example, all XYPN advisors are (I believe) NAPFA members because membership is included in the fees they pay to the organization. Regardless, NAPFA is a great place to learn more about fee-only planning.

    One word of caution: a “fee-based” advisor is a no-no.

    If you need some guidance, feel free to set up an initial consult with me. I’ll be happy to answer your questions about how to find the right fit. It doesn’t sound as if you’re looking for an ongoing relationship at this point and (I am promising in a public forum) that all I would do is answer questions and try to help you make the right decision (I definitely won’t try to sell you on using our service, iow 😀 ). FWIW, I will do the same for any doctor on WCI.

    Good luck!

    Johanna Fox Turner, CPA, CFP, Fox Wealth Mgmt & Fox CPAs ~ 270-247-0555

    #154647 Reply
    Liked by chrono

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