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June 11, 2020

What’s a fee-only financial advisor?

Kim Brown, President

Whether you’ve worked with a financial advisor for years, or you’re just beginning your research in finding an advisor, you’ve likely realized that there are many different terms used to describe financial professionals. From fee-only advisors to brokers, from wealth managers to planners, there’s no shortage of terms and descriptors. Unfortunately, the distinctions between the types of advisors aren’t always clear – but it’s well worth the time to learn the differences, specifically when it comes down to how an advisor is compensated.

For example, one term that we’re hearing more often these days is “fee-only financial advisor,” and it’s a term that describes JNBA Financial Advisors well. Simply put, a fee-only financial advisor does not accept fees or compensation based on product sales; instead, a fee-only financial advisor is paid directly and only by the client in exchange for their services.

As an independent registered investment advisor (RIA) with a fiduciary responsibility to act in our clients’ best interests, we pride ourselves on this transparent fee-only model. It allows us to:

  • Provide conflict-free advice without being influenced by outside factors, allowing us to align a client’s portfolio to their life goals. Investments are an important component to the portfolio, of course, but by not earning a commission on investments, we’re free to take much more into consideration when it comes to wealth management: long-term goals, client values, complex needs, tax planning, multi-generational planning, philanthropic activity, and more.
  • Provide customized advice and respond to client requests and questions that help maximize their resources.

A fee-only advisor’s fees are transparent, whether it is percentage of assets under management, a flat fee, or an hourly fee. A fee-based advisor being paid directly by their clients, on the other hand, may also receive compensation from other sources, such as commissions from financial products recommended by the advisor which can lead to a conflict of interest.

If you’re interested in learning more about what it’s like to work with a fee-only fiduciary advisor, please feel free to call or email us. We’re always happy to learn about your financial goals and share how our advice driven by advocacy® approach could help you achieve your goals without conflicts of interest.

It should not be assumed that future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended and/or undertaken by JNBA), or any non-investment related services, will be profitable, equal any historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. A copy of our current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available upon request. Please Also Note: There can be no assurance that services provided on a Fee-Only basis will achieve a certain level of positive results or satisfaction.

Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from JNBA Financial Advisors, LLC.

Please see important disclosure information at


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