I just want my financial advisor to help me occasionally, but most advisors want me to pay them year round. what is my move

Financial Planners


question: We understand that the need for a financial advisor is occasional, but most models require consistent fees. What other options should I consider?

answer: Luckily, there are many different financial planning service models, some of which don’t require consistent fees. In fact, choosing an advisor who charges by the hour or by his single consultation may be a more cost-effective option for individuals who only need occasional advice. (Looking for a Financial Advisor? This tool helps match you with an advisor that fits your needs.)

Having trouble with your financial advisor or looking for a new one? Send an email to picks@marketwatch.com.


financial planner by the hour

One option to consider is hourly financial advice. For these advisors, “Just like a lawyer is paid, you only pay for the time they spend working on your planning needs or meeting with you. For individuals who don’t need it, but need help on a regular basis, we’ve found hourly services to be a great fit,” said Danielle Harrison, Certified Financial Planner, Harrison Financial Planning.

The Hourly Planner is best for those who are proactive and really know they need help. It makes sense to check in with a financial planner. Her Danielle Harmon, a certified financial planner at Boundless Financial Services, said:

Looking for a Financial Advisor? This tool helps match you with an advisor that fits your needs.

Project-Based or One-Time Consultation Financial Planner

Instead of developing an ongoing relationship with an advisor, a project-based or one-off consultation can help you work out specific parts of your financial plan. If you want a planner to create your financial plan and you want to execute it yourself, hiring someone for project-based advice is a cost-effective way to get financial guidance.

Fee-only planners that provide this style of advice are called advice-only planners and typically cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000, depending on location and complexity of the project. To find a planner that fits your budget, search for fixed-price, advice-only contracts on the XY Planning Network, Fees Only Network, and National Personal Financial Advisors sites. His Massi de Santis of Desmo Wealth Advisors said:

De Santis also recommends requesting a quote to begin comprehensive financial planning. “Compare offers and costs to see what works best for you. We recommend starting with a comprehensive plan. Because we can discover things that weren’t there,” says De Santis.

What to look for in a financial advisor

Regardless of the fee model you pursue, it is important to obtain financial advice from a qualified financial professional, such as a certified financial planner. The CFP designation indicates that advisors are expected to complete extensive coursework and uphold fiduciary duties. Ultimately, the best option depends on your specific financial situation and goals. It’s important to do your research and find an option that fits your needs and budget.

do it yourself

You may not need an advisor. If so, look for resources and tools that can help you manage your own finances. His Blaine Thiederman, Certified Financial Planner at Progress Welth Management, said:

Question edited for brevity and clarity.

Having trouble with your financial advisor or looking for a new one? Send an email to picks@marketwatch.com.




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