Why You Should Hire a Financial Planner, Even if You're Not Rich, April 20, 2018
Both N.A.P.F.A. and C.F.P., as well as the Garrett Planning Network, provide search functions that can help you gather a list of reputable planners and advisers in your area.
Website Matching Small Investors with Fiduciary Advisors Goes Live, April 24, 2018
In addition to XY Planning Network, the website, www.noincidentalinvestors.org, is being staffed by advisor members of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), the Garrett Planning Network and the Institute for the Fiduciary Standard.
Advisers Must Expand Beyond Financial Planning for Future to Tackle Life Today, May 11, 2018
The other panelists, Greg Friedman, president of Private Ocean; Sheryl Garrett, founder of the Garrett Planning Network; and Sheryl Rowling, principal of Rowling and Associates, agreed with her view of the industry's future direction.
How to pick a fee-only financial planner when family's finances suddenly increase?, May 20, 2018
Garrett Planning Network represents planners willing to charge by the hour and who are either CFPs, on track to get the designation or are certified public accountants who have the personal financial specialist credential, which is similar to the CFP. Hourly fees usually range from $150 to $300.
5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Stop Feeling So Overwhelmed About Money, October 8, 2018
The good news: There are things you can do today to feel more in control of your finances. “Taking control of money is as simple as being proactive with it,” says Mitchell C. Hockenbury, a certified financial planner at 1440 Financial Partners in Kansas City. Here are five ways to do that.
5 Things to Know About Financial Wellness Programs, December 12, 2018
Good places to start your search are the Garrett Planning Network, which lists fee-only planners who are available by the hour, and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, a group of fee-only advisers.
If you don’t have a trusted person to help you sort through your options, or even if you do, consider hiring a fee-only planner who charges by the hour. An experienced planner who agrees to be a fiduciary — which means he or she puts your best interests first — can help ease your mind that you’re making the right choice.
You can get referrals from the Garrett Planning Network, directory.garrettplanningnetwork.com.
"Face-to-face meetings facilitate better interaction and more complete dissemination of information by advisors to clients," says Tom Fredrickson, a CFP and principal of Fredrickson Financial Planning in Brooklyn, New York, which is part of the Garrett Planning Network.
FinancialPlanning.com, December 1, 2017
Planners can give you advice on investments, and some may offer to manage your portfolio, but they also work with clients to develop a long-term financial plan. That can include strategies for buying a car or a house, how much life insurance to buy, and how to save for retirement and college at the same time. "It's life coaching," says Sheryl Garrett, who founded the Garrett Planning Network, a nationwide group of planners who charge by the hour. It's also about having an adviser always on hand for help with financial questions.
"Have the adviser write out all of the fees in contract form or on a piece of paper," says Sheryl Garrett, a certified financial planner and founder of the Garrett Planning Network.
If your situation is fairly straightforward and you just need a gut check or portfolio tweak, you might want a planner who charges by the hour. You’ll get the advice you need without paying ongoing portfolio management fees. You can find an hourly adviser through the Garrett Planning Network.
Peruse the Garrett Planning Network, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors and XY Planning Network for someone with expertise working with people like you.
"To be sure, some financial advisers — including members of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisers and those affiliated with the Garrett Planning Network — already charge by the hour. But if Sironi is right, more will have to do so."
"Meanwhile, Sheryl Garrett, founder of The Garrett Planning Network 17 years ago, has been training advisers to charge by the hour for 17 years. “The hourly, or time-based, compensation model can be extremely cost effective for most individuals seeking advice. other than delegators,” she said. “The (delegators) generally be best served with a flat-fee or retainer.”
But for most Americans, Garrett said an hourly fee, with a known maximum, is the best way to go. “Advisers get paid a professional wage in exchange for their knowledge and time,” she said. “Advisers are able to be appropriately compensated to spend time on the topics that can provide the most value to clients, such as illustrating the impact of changing jobs, or deciding when to start Social Security…whatever the client needs…perfectly tailored to the needs of the clients and not based on some arbitrary figure, like the amount of money they accumulated before hiring the adviser.”
According to Garrett, solo-practitioners can make a very reasonable income charging hourly. “However, to increase the number of lives affected, get paid for all your work, enable you to leverage the talents of other professionals in your firm, one should follow the law firm model, which is what I had done in my hourly practice before retiring to work exclusively with advisers.”
Garrett said her firm had two lead CFP practitioners, including herself and two part-time staff planners. As owner of the firm, she had marketing and more compliance or oversight responsibility then her co-workers.
And when she brought on another lead adviser, her compensation was two-thirds her billing rate. “Our staff planners each had no marketing responsibilities and minimal compliance duties, so most of their time was billable,” said Garrett. “They received one-third of their creditable billable time as compensation. Lead advisers bill approximately 40 to 50% of their time. Staff advisers constituently billed out over 75% of their time.”
To be sure, changing one’s business model to hourly won’t be easy. “Hourly is hard,” said Garrett. “It is the ultimate in fee transparency. As the public continues to become enlightened as to all the ways they are overpaying for goods and services, charging for financial advice by the hour will become the most common payment method in the advisory industry.”
Most people in this stage of life could at least benefit from a one-time consultation with a financial planner who specializes in retirement planning. Garrett Planning Network and NAPFA are two good places to look.
Those who want a more limited engagement may benefit from hiring a planner on an hourly basis.
Garrett Planning Network’s members charge an hourly fee for financial planning—$180 to $300 is typical. Many clients pay a few thousand dollars for a financial plan and then schedule periodic updates as needed, said Ms. Garrett, who says clients can choose to pay the planner an asset-based fee to manage their investments or simply manage the portfolio themselves.
he advantage, she added, is that clients pay for no more than they need.
“Prices are coming crashing down on money management,” says Sheryl Garrett, founder of the Garrett Planning Network.
How do I find a financial planner? I have gone to my bank and Google and have been disappointed. Is there a magic answer?
(Carolyn) McClanahan: Look at Garrett Planning Network — hourly planners or napfa.org — fee-only fiduciaries.
Financial Engines and the Garrett Planning Network are two prominent financial advisory firms that have said they already act as fiduciaries on behalf of their clients.
If you want someone who puts your interests first, look for a fee-only advisor who’s willing to act as a fiduciary. “Fiduciary” means the advisor promises to act in your best interests. And don’t confuse “fee only” with “fee based.” Fee-only advisors are compensated only by their clients. Fee-based advisors may charge their clients while accepting commissions for the products they recommend. You can get referrals to fee-only advisors from the Garrett Planning Network.
A CFP can help you create a financial plan. If you need someone to do a one-time review of your finances to ensure you’re on the right track, look for a planner who charges by the hour — such as a member of the Garrett Planning Network.
It’s not always easy to find a fee-only financial planner who will help with budgeting and debt repayment. Many advisors cater to high net worth individuals who typically don’t have the same cash-flow issues as middle Americans.
The Garrett Planning Network offers referrals to fee-only planners who charge by the hour at directory.garrettplanningnetwork.com. These advisors have the certified financial planner credential and, unlike many other fee-only planners, don’t have minimum asset requirements for new clients. You can interview a few prospects by phone to get an idea of the cost, but expect to spend at least a few hundred dollars to get started and then hourly fees for ongoing help.
You can look up advisers who hold the CFP credential at www.letsmakeaplan.org or find fee-only advisers at www.napfa.org. Both databases let you search by zip code. Don’t have a sizable (or even measurable) net worth? You can search for a CFP who requires no asset or income minimums through the XY Planning Network, whose members focus on Generation X and Generation Y clients, or the Garrett Planning Network—a great option if you want a one-time check-up, because its planners charge by the hour and require no long-term commitment.
The advisor you want won't be found at your doorstep or in your email box, begging for your business. The best planners are too busy advising to run after lottery winners. You can find referrals to fee-only planners at the National Assn. of Personal Financial Advisors (www.napfa.org) and the Garrett Planning Network(directory.garrettplanningnetwork.com). Interview at least three and make sure they're willing to sign a fiduciary oath to put your interests first.
Look for fee-only advisers in your area at napfa.org, letsmakeaplan.org or plannersearch.org. Then prepare a standardized list of questions. Handy templates are the financial-adviser interview questionnaire at garrettplanningnetwork.com and “Questions to Ask in Your Search” at plannersearch.org. Email the advisers on your list and ask them to send back a signed copy of their answers.
Until the fiduciary rule is fully in force, one way to ensure you hire a fiduciary is to work with a “fee-only” financial planner. These professionals charge only for their advice and they don’t earn commissions based on the investments you choose.
Good sources to find fee-only financial advisers are the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors and the Garrett Planning Network.
Sheryl Garrett says it's also a good idea to ask a potential financial adviser to sign a fiduciary oath from the Committee for the Fiduciary Standard, which advocates in favor of fiduciary advice. “Ask the adviser if he is going to be a fiduciary 100 percent of the time," says Garrett. "If he can’t agree, keep looking for someone else.”
The industry says [fiduciary] requirements will raise costs and possibly deny advice to “small investors.” But Sheryl Garrett, founder of the nationwide Garrett Planning Network of financial advisers, which does not charge commissions or base fees on the amount of assets, says: “We’ve been acting as fiduciaries for 16 years, serving clients of all types. The cleanest and easiest way to minimize conflicts of interest is simply to charge for your time.”
If you need help creating a plan to reach your saving goal, start by asking if your employer offers access to investment advice as part of your benefits package. Otherwise, consider meeting with a financial planner. You can find planners that charge by the hour, such as those in the Garrett Planning Network, or search online at GuideVine.com or NAPFA.org, the website for the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.
If I, or a family member, absolutely required professional financial advice, I’d start with the advisers at my most trusted, consumer-oriented companies: Vanguard or USAA. If I needed to find a local adviser, I’d use the directories at the NAPFA or Garrett Planning Network sites.
Dear Liz: You frequently suggest consulting a fee-only financial planner, such as those who are members of the Garrett Planning Network, which seems like great advice.
Check to see if your employer offers any financial or investment advising services as part of your benefits. Or find a fee-only financial planner through the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. If you just need to meet with a planner a few times to get on the right track, some planners charge by the hour, such as those in the Garrett Planning Network, a nationwide group of independent, fee-only financial planners.
In April 2016, Sheryl Garrett, founder of the Garrett Planning Network, Inc., said without the long awaited rule from the Labor Department, many workers and retirees would be "vulnerable to brokers who are not legally obligated to put their client's best interests first." (U.S. Department of Labor)
Fee-only financial advice is becoming more dominant, with the most common approach being fees based on assets under management. Yet hourly advising remains relatively rare. I believe it is a viable model, though I must disclose that I have always used this approach.
To better understand the hourly model, I looked at the Garrett Planning Network, the largest network of planners predominantly charging hourly fees.
To reduce angst, hire a financial adviser, preferably one with the Certified Financial Planner designation. The national groups of financial planners that offer searchable databases: the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, The Garrett Planning Network, the Financial Planning Association and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
The most transparent business model is fee-only financial advisors. Since they only receive compensation and fees directly from their clients, there is no incentive to recommend high-cost investments and they are not limited to products and solutions that pay commissions. To find a fee-only advisor, consider the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, Garrett Planning Network and XY Planning Network.
Fee-only planners charge their clients in a number of different ways. What distinguishes them is the fact that they are only compensated by their clients; they don't accept commissions from the products or services they recommend.
Some fee-only planners charge by the hour, which is helpful for people just starting out or those who need targeted help, such as advice on their retirement portfolios. You can get referrals to fee-only planners who charge by the hour from the Garrett Planning Network at directory.garrettplanningnetwork.com.
Hire a financial adviser. Others agree, but add their own spin to that advice. "The best advice I can give is to work with a financial adviser who has chosen to avoid most conflicts of interest, by being 'fee-only,'" said Rhoades. And the best way to find such advisers, he said, is through organizations of fee-only advisers:
National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (http://www.napfa.org)
Garrett Planning Network (http://directory.garrettplanningnetwork.com)
The best way is to try to find someone who gives advice in your best interest. That’s called the fiduciary standard. When you meet with a financial planner or someone who is giving financial advice, you’re going to have to ask about that. There doesn’t seem to be any way around that.
People who don’t have to give advice in your best interest, who work to what is called the suitability standard, simply don’t have to tell you that. So you’re going to have to ask.
That’s the most important part here. Then, of course, there are organizations -- not organizations, that’s the wrong word -- there are outfits where you’re going to get those people. National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, that’s one. The Garrett Planning Network, that’s another. But you always, always, always have to ask. Never assume.
I used the Garrett Planning Network and the XY Planning Network to find some fee-only financial planners for free initial consultations. "Fee-only" means you pay them a sum of money, which may be a flat fee or a percentage of your assets which you are putting under their management. Ask to make sure your adviser doesn't take any commissions from anyone else, and that they swear a "fiduciary oath" that they are acting only in their clients' financial interests. ("Fee-based" sounds similar to "fee-only," but a fee-based financial planner can still collect commissions from companies that market financial products.)
Although most financial advisers prefer clients of substantial means, some charge nominal hourly fees and are happy to take on younger customers (who, ideally, will turn into clients of substantial means). These include XY Planning Network, which specializes in assisting GenX’ers and GenY’ers, and Garrett Planning Network, whose advisers have no income or investment account minimums.
Work only with financial planners who will charge for their time or advice and who serve as fiduciaries, meaning they are required to put your interests first. Certified financial planners can be found through the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors and the Garrett Planning Network.
Garrett Planning Network (garrettplanningnetwork.com). This national network of financial advisers includes only fee-only planners who charge by the hour. They’re especially good at helping clients with smaller projects, such as determining how much life insurance they need or whether it makes sense to refinance a mortgage. Most of the organization’s members are CFPs.
Sheryl Garrett on the importance of making impartial financial advice accessible to all
How she created a successful hourly financial planning firm for the average person despite early mistakes
Sheryl Garrett loves financial planning now, but it took 11 years' working in the industry for the passion to bloom. The founder of the Garrett Planning Network . . . .
Planning for retirement has many pitfalls. Following these tips can help you avoid the most common and costly mistakes investors make. If you’d like further guidance, get personal help from a professional. A good choice would be advisors who work by the hour such as those in the Garrett Planning Network.
And a related organization is the Garrett Planning Network. And you’ll see a lot of crossover. A lot of folks who belong to Garrett are also part of NAPFA. And we like them because they are fee-only financial advisors. They charge either an hourly fee, a project fee, or an assets-under-management fee. They do not charge by commission, because that can introduce some conflicted advice into the relationship.
Finding a planner who charges by the hour is relatively simple, and the Garrett Planning Network is a good place to start, but that's not to say your task is easy.
To find a fee-only adviser, I generally recommend the websites provided by NAPFA and the Garrett Planning Network.
Also, you can find fee-only planners willing to work with you for just an hour or two by visiting the website of the Garrett Planning Network: garrettplanningnetwork.com.
But [U.S. Labor Secretary] Perez pointed to companies like Wealthfront, Personal Capital and Garrett Planning Network as examples of firms that are already acting in their clients’ best interests and still turning a profit. In fact, in discussions Perez has had with these companies, they’ve regularly said, “give small savers my number.”
The Financial Planning Association, which holds its members to a fiduciary standard, has a referral service on its site. Or you can look for a Certified Financial Planner right here at Bankrate. Other sources for such planners include Garrett Planning Network (whose members typically charge by the hour) and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.
But where you get that second opinion is important. It’s best to work with a Certified Financial Planner and who does not sell products. To find such an advisor near you, check out the Garrett Planning Network or the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.
Garrett Planning Network. This national network of financial advisers includes only fee-only planners who charge for advice by the hour. They’re especially good at helping clients with smaller projects, such as determining how much life insurance they need or whether it makes sense to refinance a mortgage. Most of the organization’s members are CFPs.
“There’s a preconceived notion that to engage, you need a minimum net worth of $1 million. That’s not true at all,” FPA president Edward Gjertsen II told me. “It may take a little longer to find, but there are plenty who charge annually or hourly, not just AUM [Assets Under Management].”
I’m not sure I’d agree with “plenty.” But there is Garrett Planning Network, with 300 independent fee-only planners typically charging $180 to $300 an hour; the fee-only, virtual XY Planning Network (it specializes in Gen X and Gen Y clients) and the 2,400-member fee-only planners group, National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.
For a directory of CFPs, you can check the CFP Board's site or the Garrett Planning Network, which lists more than 300 independent, fee-only financial planners.
Many financial planning writers and consumer organizations recommend the “fee-only” approach since it helps reduce the conflicts of interest associated with commissions. The two organizations most often recommended are the Garrett Planning Network and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, since members are fee-only advisors.
On the flipside, if you radically alter your lifestyle to accommodate a one-income budget and still save for retirement, the payoff can be rewarding as well as enriching.
"Having one income forces (a couple) to step outside the stereotypical mold," said Sheryl Garrett, a financial planner and founder of the Garrett Planning Network. "They can eliminate a car and enroll in fewer costly activities, and the tradeoff is doing more together as a family."
Only 16 percent of respondents said financial advisers have provided them with information about Social Security retirement benefits.
“I’m disturbed by this number, but I’m not shocked,” Sheryl Garrett, founder of the Garrett Planning Network, which serves middle-income people, told me.
You can find some planners that charge by the hour, such as those in the Garrett Planning Network. It is usually best to stick with fee-only planners who do not work on commission.
A major advocate for the new rules is Sheryl Garrett, CFP, who is a director of The Garrett Planning Network, which has a nationwide membership of over 300 independent, fee-only financial planners who provide advice without minimum account requirements, sales commissions, or long-term commitments.
“Our members proudly embrace their fiduciary duty, always placing their clients’ best interests first,” said Garrett, who is based in Arkansas. “If you need only 20 minutes of investment advice, that is all you pay for. If your needs are more complicated, you still likely pay far less than with a sale based on a commission.”
"Truly fee-only advisors, such as GPN (Garrett Planning Network) members, are a great choice for individual investors. Because they avoid nearly all conflicts of interest, their advice is truly unbiased," said Ronald Rhoades, a Bowling Green, Ky.-based CFP.
Investors.com, September 16, 2015
You also need to know what sort of relationship you’re seeking, whether it’s something short-term, long-term or something in between. For example, if you just need someone to do a one-time review of your finances to see if you’re on the right track, look for a planner who charges by the hour on a fee-only basis, such as a member of the Garrett Planning Network.
There are some associations that also provide names of planners. The Financial Planning Association (FPA) is by far the largest group of planners. Then you have Garrett Planning Network. These planners charge by the hour and will help with a single issue.
Sheryl Garrett is one of the advisory world's leading proponents of an hourly rate payment model (and has appeared on Investment Advisor's IA 25 several times). “I argue that most Americans — well over 80% — need occasional advice rather than a full-time financial planner/advisor/manager, nor can they justify the cost,” said Garrett, a CFP. “The simplicity and clarity of an hourly fee is much easier on everybody. It's easy to describe, and there are no barriers to entry” in the form of minimum asset requirements.
Early on, Garrett discovered that this payment model attracted beginners, middle-income clientele and “validators” — do-it-yourselfers who may have already done a good job of investment planning. Fearing to be sold investment products or investment management services they weren't interested in, this untapped market segment resisted consulting advisors about such issues as a second opinion on their investment portfolio, developing a Social Security strategy, choosing the right homeowners insurance or financing their kids’ college education. With Garrett's hourly model, they could simply ask, “What will it cost me for what I want done?”
You can search for a fee-only financial planner (which means they don’t work on commission) through the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors site. Or you can find hourly-based, fee-only planners through the Garrett Planning Network. Also take advantage of any professional investment advice services that might be available through your workplace retirement plan.
Nasdaq.com, August 19, 2015
And you don't have to pay an annual fee. "There are planners who charge by the hour, such as many in the Garrett Planning Network and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors," says New York City-based financial adviser Tom Fredrickson, who's a member of both groups.
Bankrate.com, August 12, 2015
The Garrett Planning Network represents about 300 independent fee-only financial planners nationwide who charge by the hour. Some also offer “retainer or asset-under-management-type services,” but “the majority of what we do is more limited-scope, as-needed planning,” said founder Sheryl Garrett.
Also, consider using a fee-only adviser who charges by the hour. You can find such advisers at NAPFA.organd The Garrett Planning Network (garrettplanningnetwork.com).
“You want to find an advisor who has a strategy and fee structure you can understand and believe in,” Criscuolo says. “A relationship with a financial advisor should be based on trust, and having a clear fee structure should be part of building that trust.”
If all of that sounds a bit frightening, [Folio Institutional President, Greg] Vigrass notes that there is a cohort of investment advisors -- Vigrass cites Garrett Planning Network as an example -- that operates on almost an hourly rate. Instead of paying quarterly or monthly based on a percentage of your assets, you can have an initial consultation based on an hourly fee, get advice and plan for future investments and then go out and make those investments on your own. If necessary, you can follow up once a year or so without keeping that advisor on retainer.
Until the new fiduciary rules are in place—advocates hope by early next year—a clear-cut route to engaging a fiduciary is to work with fee-only financial planners. They charge only for their advice; they don’t earn money based on what you buy. The Garrett Planning Network and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors are good sources.
One key question for screening financial advisers: “Are you required to uphold the fiduciary standard?” What this means is that the adviser is required to put your financial interest – not theirs – first. If the answer is anything but “yes,” keep looking. Here are sources for fee-only advisers: The Garrett Planning Network, an association of fee-only planners.
Financial adviser Sheryl Garrett, founder of the Garrett Planning Network, remembers talking with a 62-year-old client about potentially needing to downsize her home and rent a smaller apartment.
"When we finally got to the bottom of it, we realized she wouldn't be saving much if she moved out and paid rent," Garrett said. "What she really needed was a live-in handyman, so she made a few upgrades in her basement and found a tenant who could pay a little rent and take over shoveling the walks, mowing the lawn and other jobs."
Two membership groups, the Alliance of Comprehensive Planners and Garrett Planning Network, have several hundred advisers who charge hourly or annual fees.
Mr. Perez's message was embraced by a human adviser, Sheryl Garrett, founder of the Garrett Planning Network.
“It's fabulous,” Ms. Garrett said. “I think what Secretary Perez was trying to do, and did well, was bring up the point that technology is enabling new entrants into the marketplace to fill this need.”
Mr. Perez's boss, President Barack Obama, shined the spotlight on Ms. Garrett at an event at AARP in February where Mr. Obama gave a strong endorsement to the DOL rule.
Sheryl Garrett spent years building her own business — giving people financial advice and charging by the hour. And then she set out to establish the Garrett Planning Network of financial planners, essentially a mutual help group of more than 300 men and women in the same business. It has flourished, and even President Barack Obama found time this year to praise Garrett by name as one “of a whole lot of financial advisers out there who do put their clients’ interests first” — and not one of those “gunslingers of the Wild West.” But are these Lone Rangers of the financial business about to be challenged by a really smart robot? “I expect that to be realized in the next five years,” Garrett tells OZY.
Beyond the CFP Board, a good place to look for a planner is the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, which is the country's leading organization of fee-only planners. The Garrett Planning Network is a group of fee-only planners who make their services available to even the smallest clients.
But there are millions of less than affluent Americans who could desperately use good financial advice. (I realize a few firms, like Garrett Planning Network, cater to them, and robo-advisers typically charge less than traditional advisers.)
Be strategic about your career. "Our greatest asset is our ability to earn money," said Sheryl Garrett, a Eureka Springs, Arkansas, fee-only financial adviser. Think carefully about what you want your future work life to look like, and invest time and money into getting there. Keep up your schooling and your skills, network via social media and professional organizations.
One key question for screening financial advisers: “Are you required to uphold the fiduciary standard?” What this means is that the adviser is required to put your financial interest – not theirs – first. If the answer is anything but “yes,” keep looking. Here are sources for fee-only advisers: The Garrett Planning Network, an association of fee-only planners.
For many people, staying at home vs. a long-term care facility is not only the more attractive scenario, it's also the only affordable one.
"A long-term care facility is not typically an option for a majority of Americans," said Sheryl Garrett, a certified financial planner and founder of the Garrett Planning Network. "People don't have the money for those kinds of things."
Instead, she sees growing numbers of families moving closer to each other and sharing the work of taking care of parents and grandparents.
Despite the large 529 balances, some financial planners questioned Obama's investment choices.
"It's ironic that he's in the Bright Directions Illinois 529, which is sold through brokers, rather than the lower-fee, direct-sold Bright Start Illinois 529," said Dylan Ross, director of financial planning at the Garrett Planning Network, a nationwide group of fee-only financial planners.
The debate over whether basing fees on AUM is what's best for clients has heated up since February, when President Barack Obama highlighted the work of Sheryl Garrett, founder of the Garrett Planning Network, which charges hourly for financial advice.
There are lots of ways to find advisers who are a good fit and loyal to you. Besides the NAPFA searchable database (http://findanadvisor.napfa.org/Home.aspx), Brown recommends several other networks of fee-only advisers:
The Garrett Planning Network lists lots of advisers who work on an hourly or project basis.
Start to invest for your future, such as college, retirement or a second home. To get advice on goal setting, saving and investing, find a fee-only financial advisor who is a fiduciary (and will put that in writing). You can find such an advisor by searching NAPFA or Garrett Planning Network.
NerdWallet.com, May 11, 2015
Sheryl Garrett has seen a lot of advisors follow in her footsteps. Over 320 advisors across the United States are members of the Garrett Planning Network, offering fee-only advice on an hourly basis to middle-income clients.
Why not start your graduate off with a personal investment coach from the Garrett Planning Network? I’ve been a fan of the Garret Planning Network for a long time because they offer personal financial planning and investment advice at a reasonable cost.
Ideally, you want a financial adviser who is a fiduciary — that is, he puts your interests above his. If your adviser won't adhere to the fiduciary standard, it should be fun, at least, to watch him explain why not. Then go find someone who will. You can start with the National Association of Personal Financial Advisers' website (www.napfa.org), which will help you find a planner in your area. If you're seeking hourly advice, you might consider the Garrett Planning Network (directory.garrettplanningnetwork.com).
America Saves is another good resource for information on budgeting and saving. The Garrett Planning Network and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors are good sources for locating a fee-only advisor that offers advice on an hourly basis.
In addition to Mr. Kitces’s fledgling network of professionals, the Garrett Planning Network offers a much longer list of possibilities of advisers who are willing to work by the hour instead of by the month. They are certainly worth a look, as are the planners affiliated with the National Association of Personal Financial Advisers, though they will often work only with people who have many hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest.
At the event, Mr. Obama highlighted a registered investment adviser, Sheryl Garrett, and praised her as being among advisers “who do put their clients' interests first.”
He then pivoted to slam brokers.
Stronger regulations are also needed to protect savers, said Arkansas-based certified financial planner Sheryl Garrett, founder of The Garrett Planning Network. "I would love to see regulation regarding a fiduciary standard for rollovers and distributions," said Garrett, who recently spoke on the subject at the Middle Class Prosperity Project forum hosted by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md.
Sheryl Garrett, a certified financial planner and founder of the nationwide Garrett Planning Network, explained: "There are so many different ways that custodians and financial service companies are receiving compensation. There are explicit fees, sure, but then the list goes on and on. Most people don't have any idea."
Pioneering planner Sheryl Garrett is using her moment in the national spotlight to get planners on board with a fiduciary oath.
President Obama singled Garrett out for praise during a talk at the AARP last month discussing the obligations of financial advisors and their role in retirement planning. "The role of a financial advisor is one of the most important jobs," he quoted her as saying. "But there is a segment of the industry today that operates like the gunslingers of the Wild West. We don't have the rules and regulations to protect those who we're supposed to be serving."
"I couldn't have said it better myself," the president added.
Ask a financial adviser to review your savings rate and your investments. Some advisers will do this for a nominal hourly fee. Resources include XY Planning Network, an organization of fee-only financial advisers who work with GenXers and GenYers, and Garrett Planning Network, nationwide network of independent, fee-only financial planners.
Those who prefer a more human touch but are wary of commissioned-brokers can see if their employer offers access to unbiased financial planners or hire a fee-only advisor. Some good places to look are the Garrett Planning Network.
Charging by the hour is gaining supporters, too. Sheryl Garrett, who started a network of hourly based, fee-only financial advisers in 2000, said it is the best way to serve middle-income households. “Focusing on middle-income clientele is where my heart and passion always have been,” said Ms. Garrett, whom President Barack Obama has recognized as an adviser who puts clients first. Such an approach can work especially well with these clients, who typically don't have many complicated planning needs. The Garrett Planning Network now has about 320 members.
Hourly fees do have their place. In fact, to better see this, think of them not in the “on the clock” sense [Michael] Kitces refers (and which inspires fear in the heart of anyone who has ever hired a lawyer). Rather, think of them as a project-based fee more akin to that charged by a home repair contractor. Sheryl Garrett, founder of The Garrett Planning Network, Inc. in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, says, “In many cases the hourly fee is most appropriate for financial planning, where there is no continuous investment advice and no investment discretion. Imagine it like working on a project. A project generally has a limited scope and a defined end point. In fact, although fees can be based on an hourly rate, we find clients prefer to know the entire cost of a specific project, so that’s what we quote them.”
President Barack Obama singled out Sheryl Garrett as an adviser who puts clients' interests first in his speech Monday that backed tougher investment-advice standards for brokers who handle retirement plans.
“I want to emphasize once again, there are a whole lot of financial advisers out there who do put their clients' interests first. There are a lot of hardworking men and women in this field, and got into this field to help people,” Mr. Obama said at the AARP event in Washington. “They're folks like financial adviser Sheryl Garrett.”
Mentioning Ms. Garrett eight times by name, Mr. Obama said he was proud of her, and had the founder of the Garrett Planning Network stand up in the audience, which included between 150 and 200 people.
He also quoted her argument for stronger fiduciary rules, adding, “Couldn't have said it better myself."
“Sheryl says, 'The role of a financial adviser is one of the most important jobs. But there is a segment of the industry today that operates like the gunslingers of the Wild West. We don't have the rules and regulations to protect those who we're supposed to be serving,'” the president said.
Of course, some financial advisors are honest–President Obama called out Sheryl Garrett, founder of a network of fee-only financial planners; but some are “selling snake oil,” he said.
In the race that is managing one's money, a financial adviser is the coach. "If I want to run a marathon, I have to start walking around the block," said Sheryl Garrett, founder of the Garrett Planning Network. "The same is true with our money. Financial planners motivate clients to do what's in their best interest." An industry veteran of 28 years, she believes a financial adviser does much more than manage client portfolios. "Much of the value of what we do as financial advisers has nothing to do with investments," said Garrett. "We add value by identifying goals, threats and opportunities." That holistic approach can encompass advising on issues as disparate as college funding, tax planning or cash flow.
Low-income and middle-class Americans 'are not being served by brokers' as it is, [Committee for the Fiduciary Standard Chair Kate McBride] said, while 'many RIA firms are willing to step up' and offer various methods to make professional advice affordable to those groups, citing the Garrett Planning Network as one example....
Sheryl Garrett, an independent certified financial planner who runs the Garrett Planning Network, says her first question for new clients is often: What’s going on in your life? She inquires about a client’s income, debt, career plans, retirement accounts, what the money that may be invested will eventually be used for, if there are expenses on the horizon or a few years down the road, or family obligations they might have to take on. These types of questions can reveal deeper issues in our financial lives that the client may not even be aware of, she says. Garrett’s not opposed to people using robo-advisers, although she cautions that automated advice can miss the bigger picture – that the extra money we think we have might not be truly extra. Her advice: planning first, and maybe, if it still makes sense, Internet second.
Typically, fee-only certified financial planners (and their similarly credentialed peers) work with high net worth individuals. In other words, they’re expensive. One potential way to lower the cost is to check out the Garrett Planning Network. The Garrett planners are CFPs who keep the price of their advice down by breaking down the major financial questions into discrete tasks.
Another option is to search for a fee-only financial planner in your area who will review your progress toward financial goals. These sessions can cost from $500 to $1,000. A good place to find a planner is the Garrett Planning Network.
Right now is a good time to consider rebalancing your portfolio, says Sheryl Garrett , founder of the Garrett Planning Network of financial advisers. After two strong years in the U.S. stock market, she points out, you might be 70% in equities and 20% in fixed income when you thought you were 60% and 40%.
How can you save on something so fundamental? It's actually not difficult. A family of four can slash $240 from its monthly food budget by switching from pricey meals to lower-cost options, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The key is to embrace culinary change rather than fearing it. "We can't be doing the same thing the same old way," says Sheryl Garrett, author of the "Personal Finance Workbook for Dummies." Store shelves are crammed with relatively expensive prepackaged convenience foods designed to save time, Garrett says.
Bankrate.com, November 18, 2014