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What is a fee-based investment advisor?

A fee-based investment advisor is an advisor who is compensated directly by the client.  This can occur through a combination of hourly, financial planning, and/or investment advisory fees, ultimately eliminating most conflicts of interest.  A fee-based advisor receives little third-party commissions, or other compensation, from investments that they may recommend.  Only in this structure can an advisor operate as a true legal Fiduciary.

What is a Fiduciary, and why is it so important?

A Fiduciary is an advisor that is bound by law to always act in your, individual, best interest.  As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional, David A. Flanders is required to have a Fiduciary relationship with our clients.

There is currently no legal requirement for all financial advisors to operate at this capacity, and in fact most are not bound by this requirement.  Many brokers, and their registered representatives, earn revenue via commissions earned on each trade they make and often sell their own proprietary products primarily, and sometimes exclusively.  Through these actions a potential conflict of interest may arise, and the clients best interest rarely comes first.

What is the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification?

A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®) certification is a professional designation attained by a person who has successfully completed the initial and ongoing requirements of the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Board.

To hold the designation, a designee is required to...

  • Hold a bachelor degree or higher, as well as completion of a college-level program of study in personal financial planning, or an accepted equivalent, including completion of a financial plan development (capstone) course registered with the CFP® board.
  • Successfully pass the CFP® certification examination.  This examination assesses ones ability to apply their financial planning knowledge, in an integrated format, to financial planning situations.
  • Have a minimum of three years of professional experience in the financial planning process, or two years of apprenticeship experience that meets additional requirements.

Adhere to the high standards of ethics and practice outlined in the CFP® Board's Standards of Professional Conduct and acknowledge the Board's right to enforce them through its Disciplinary Rules and Procedures.

Why should I work with a boutique investment firm as opposed to a large brokerage?

We have one goal: to improve your security and help you achieve your long term goals.  We don't manufacture product, sell anything, custody assets, underwrite new issues, trade our own accounts, make markets, or loan money.  At best, those activities are a distraction from our goals, at worst they generate unmanageable conflicts of interest.