How Much Is a Financial Advisor Going to Cost Me?

Price is always a key consideration. No one, no matter how wealthy, has the ability to say "cost is no object" when it comes to his or her financial affairs; that is how large fortunes unravel in lurid tales of greed, fraud, or ineptitude.

Just as you eyeball grocery prices before making a selection or get an estimate before hiring a contractor to do some home repairs, you need to ask financial counselors how they bill for their services. You may worry that they will burst into an "If you have to ask me, you can't afford me!" rage, but that hot-headed reaction would actually be a good thing, because it would let you know you're talking to the wrong advisor.

Smart financial advisors of all stripes are happy to explain their charges and justify the reasons behind their rates; it is up to you to decide if you want to pay the freight.

A price check also is important because fees and payment structures can vary tremendously from one advisor to the next.
I have seen two financial planners in the same town, both providing similar sample plans and advice, charge rates that varied by hundreds of dollars per hour. The higher charges could go to pay for the fancier office, the years of experience, and the professional designations earned, or it might just be that one provider believes he can get away with charging more.

Smart Investor Tip

Smart financial advisors of all stripes are happy to explain their charges and justify the reasons behind their rates; it is up to you to decide if you want to pay the freight.

We'd all love to get free advice, but you may be hiring a planner or broker because the free "counsel" you have gotten from friends and loved ones has been worth every penny you have paid for it, and now you want a better grade of assistance. That said, seek out a price point and pricing structure that you feel good about, because that will encourage you to use the advisor's services regularly and build the relationship.
By Chuck Jaffe
Chuck Jaffe is a senior columnist and host of two weekly podcasts at MarkWatch. He has also been a guest speaker on several television and radio shows.

Copyrighted 2017. Content published with author's permission.

Posted in ...