Directory of Fee-Only Planners and Coaches

August 17th, 2015 by Potato

I’ve talked about fee-for-service planners before, and how I think it’s how the financial advice industry should evolve — it’s a model that removes many conflicts of interest from the relationship, and maximizes transparency. I’ve even said that as a heuristic for finding an advisor it’s not a bad one, especially as at this point only a few have opted to go down that road.

So it was great when MoneySense created a directory of fee-only planners. ‎I linked to it a lot, it’s included in the book as a valuable resource, and lots of other people liked having it available, too.

They’ve now scrapped the list and are starting something new where they will not just provide a list of planners and what some might see as implicit approval, but also give them ‎an explicit seal of approval. The new process involves a hefty application fee, which will help pay for the magazine to do a survey of past clients, but will mean many fee-only planners will not choose to pay for inclusion so the list will be less inclusive. $2500 is a big fee for a directory listing, so the MS version of the directory is likely to become substantially smaller, and likely skewed towards the most expensive advisors.

I think there’s a lot of value in a free and open directory of fee-only planners.

So I’m going to create my own directory of fee-for-service planners. This will be a more buyer-beware type of directory. It will have no seal of approval, and use free tools and a minimum of volunteer effort (so forgive the barebones look). The only requirement for an advisor to get listed is to fill in the intake survey and have the appropriate business model (i.e. primarily fee-for-service). Those caveats out of the way, I think it will also be hugely useful to the community and capture a lot more planners and coaches than a closed directory with a high entry fee.

The directory is a simple Google Docs spreadsheet and there is also a sidebar link for the directory that more plainly introduces it than this post — please link to that version of the post and directory.

The intake form for advisors/planners/coaches to use is here.

Caveats: the important caveat is that this is meant to be an open listing and these are not recommendations. I don’t have the resources to vet any of these listings. I’ve mentioned a few more on the permalink.

Through the rest of this week I will start contacting the advisors that I know of to start filling out the form and adding themselves, so expect the directory to be a bit barren for the first little bit.

Thanks, and I hope you all find it helpful!

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