Here are the various ways I am compensated:
- Consulting charges. I may also charge a fee that does not relate to the management of a client's assets. Whereas commissions and advisory fees are associated with portfolio management, consulting charges may be assessed when a client requires some sort of project work or seeks more detailed financial planning services. A review of your current assets or accounts, as well as generation of a financial plan, a college plan, a risk management plan, or an estate plan, could be performed for consulting fees. These fees are often charged on an hourly basis or as a flat rate.
- Advisory fees. I also earn a living by charging a management fee equal to a small percentage of a client's assets. Products in an advisory account do not generate commissions—they either have no sales charge, or the sales charge is waived. Management fees vary depending on the account size and are debited quarterly from the client's account. An advisory relationship may be best for clients with long time horizons or qualified accounts.
- Commissions. Professionals like me can make money by buying or selling products with a sales charge. Compensation occurs at the time of purchase, through ongoing, small 12b-1 fees or at purchase and sale in the case of individual securities. As a result, a commission-based relationship may be best for clients who are seeking a pure buy-and-hold strategy with an annual review.
Generating introductions for me is the greatest compliment you can give my practice, and I am proud to say that a substantial portion of my current clientele was introduced to me by another client. At this time, my ideal new client is age 55–70, is planning for retirement or is in retirement, and has investable assets of $500,000 or more.
That said, I am honored by all personal introductions and am pleased to speak with any person whom you think could benefit from my services. Should I feel that their needs would be better served by another advisor, I will refer them to a competent, experienced Commonwealth colleague.